RCMP Officers Cleared of Wrongdoing in the Discharge of Firearms in Nova Scotia
The Serious Incident Response Team in Nova Scotia has cleared two RCMP Officers of any wrongdoing in the discharge of their firearms in relation to the tragedy that occurred last April.
On that Sunday morning, two officers who had been called in to assist with the investigation learned that the gunman was driving a replica RCMP car and possibly wearing pieces of an RCMP uniform. Several hours later, while the officers were actively searching for the gunman, they learned that another shooting occurred in the Wentworth area. While en route to the scene of the shooting, the officers learned that the gunman was also wearing a reflective vest.
Three additional shootings took place within a thirty-minute time span between Wentworth and Debert. The officers did not attend those scenes but began searching the area for the killer which lead them in the direction of Onslow.
As they were approaching the Onslow Fire Hall, they saw a marked RCMP vehicle parked in front of the fire hall facing the road and a male wearing a yellow and orange reflective vest, standing by the driver's side door of the marked RCMP vehicle. He was dressed in a fashion similar to other accounts of how the killer was dressed. The officers could not tell if the driver's side door was open or if anyone was in the car because they were facing the passenger side of that vehicle.
It was there when the report says the officer yelled “police” and “show your hands”, the male did not show his hands but rather ducked behind the marked police car then ran toward the fire hall entrance.
Officers then discharged their firearms. Neither the male who ran into the fire hall nor the RCMP member who, unbeknownst to the officers, was sitting in the police vehicle were struck by the shots.
The investigation found that based on everything the officers had seen and heard since coming on duty and what they had observed at the time, they had reasonable grounds to believe that the male was the killer and someone who would continue his killing rampage.