Mountie says holding back gun details in NS mass shooting was a ‘no brainer’

Mountie in charge of the investigation nova scotia mass shooting He says it was a “no brainer” for him to withhold details of the killer’s guns nine days after the violence.

Chief Superintendent Darren Campbell testifying earlier today public inquiry In April 18-19, 2020, a gunman driving a replica police vehicle killed 22 people.

According to Campbell’s notes presented earlier as evidence, rcmp Commissioner Brenda Lucki criticized him for not giving details of the gun during an April 28 press conference, saying he had promised the prime minister’s office that information regarding “pending gun control legislation” would be released.

The superintendent’s notes prompted opposition parties to accuse federal liberals of interfering in an active investigation to advance gun control legislation being drafted at the time.

Story continues below ad

Campbell told the investigation that as a seasoned homicide investigator, he was strongly opposed to releasing information about the guns that assassin Gabriel Wortman possessed.

Click to play video: 'Wife of Nova Scotia mass shooter confesses to hiding information'

Nova Scotia mass shooter’s wife confesses to hiding information

Nova Scotia mass shooter’s wife confesses to hiding information – July 15, 2022

Some gun control experts have argued that the release would not have a significant impact on the investigation and would allow for a public debate on the need for additional gun control.

Campbell, however, testified that releasing details about semi-automatic weapons, such as their colour, type, serial number, caliber and increase in weapons, would close the way for criminal investigation.

Read more:

MPs probe alleged political interference in NS shooting probe

He said he had spoken to the investigators involved and they had agreed not to release details.

Story continues below ad

“For me, that’s just the way I could put it: It was a no-brainer,” he said.

“We were there nine days after the events of April 18 and 19. We were still involved in the multi-agency investigation … with the purposes of determining what role Gabriel Wortman played, as well as[the role of anyone]who may have assisted him in any way,” Campbell said. Told.

He said the police can assess the credibility of a person’s evidence about guns if they can question the witness about details such as the caliber and type of weapons and see if they really know about these details. I was knowledgeable.

He also stated that if, during a covert operation, someone confessed to assisting Wortman in obtaining the weapon, and the details of the weapons were not widely publicized, the authorities could assess the veracity of that confession. .

Campbell did not disclose details of the weapons at the time, which only emerged in November of that year after they were obtained by the National Post through an access to information request.

The officer joined the response on the night of April 18, 2020, as the killings began in Portapique, NS, and he remained involved as the killer continued his rampage the next day before being shot by police.

He approved the deployment of a key incident commander to the scene at 10:46 a.m. the first night and kept in touch with RCMP officials as the killer drove a replica police car through the province.

Story continues below ad

Read more:

Top mounty command in NS mass shooting stay home to avoid confusion

The investigation’s attorney, Rachel Young, asked Campbell about the RCMP’s failure to interview two eyewitnesses until about seven hours after the shooting began, and made false assumptions about the replica vehicle being unmarked—an early witness. Despite being described as a marked RCMP vehicle.

The superintendent agreed with the commission’s counsel that communication of the preliminary evidence that night could have been improved.

He said he favors a system where officers overseeing the response to a mass shooting can review the statements of witnesses, rather than relying on memory and losing track of what was originally said and then can hear from

He said the failure to interview the two men, whom the killer shot at around 5 a.m. the next morning, may have been due to concerns for the health of Andrew MacDonald, who was wounded.

Campbell led the RCMP’s investigation into the incident, and was the RCMP’s public face during news conferences in the weeks following the uproar.

She is also scheduled to testify before the House of Commons Public Safety Committee, which is exploring whether there was political interference as the RCMP investigated what happened.

Story continues below ad

Campbell, who was then a superintendent, has since been promoted to chief superintendent of the RCMP division in New Brunswick.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 25, 2022.

© 2022 Canadian Press