An official report on the deadliest shooting in Canadian history, which occurred in 2020 and in which 23 people were killed concludes that the Mounties withheld critical information from the public, which likely increased the number of casualties.
The report, commissioned by the Government and prepared by an independent commission, was released today and includes recommendations such as a ban on semi-automatic weapons and those with a capacity of more than five shots, as well as a ban on the use of magazines with more than of five bullets.
The commission harshly criticizes the actions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and, according to the report, the decision not to warn the public about what was happening increased the danger.
The shooting occurred on April 18 and 19, 2020, when Gabriel Wortman, a 51-year-old dental technician, murdered 23 people in a rural area of the province of New Scotlandon the Atlantic coast of Canada.
Wortman, dressed in an authentic RCMP uniform, drove around for hours in a vehicle resembling a RCMP patrol car until he was shot down by Canadian security forces.
The Mounted Police concealed that the murderer was dressed as a police officer, was traveling in a police vehicle and was traveling through the region.
According to the report, the RCMP’s decision to withhold such information “deprived members of the community of the opportunity to assess the risks to their security and take steps to better protect themselves.”
During the work of the independent commission, which heard dozens of testimonies for seven months, the families of several of the people who died on April 19 declared that their relatives would have acted differently if they knew that a murderer disguised as a police officer was acting in the area.
The more than 3,000 page report accuses the police force, one of Canada’s most recognized institutions, of lack of preparation and leadership and also considers that the Mounted Police have not “systematically” evaluated their performance in the “deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.”
Between the 130 report findings an in-depth external review of the police force is recommended, as despite other investigations in the past having recommended reforms of its culture as an organization, the same problems persist.