Senior Mountie who oversaw investigation into N.S. mass shooting testifies at inquiry | Canadian

The senior Mountie in charge of the investigation into the 2020 mass shooting that claimed 22 lives in Nova Scotia is testifying today at a public inquiry.

Chief Supt. Darren Campbell became involved in the response on the night of April 18, 2020, as killings began in Portapique, N.S., and he remained involved the next day as the killer continued his rampage before being shot by police.

Campbell approved deploying a critical incident commander to the scene at 10:46 p.m. on the first night and stayed in contact with RCMP officers on site as the killer drove a replica police car through the province.

The question of who was in charge in those crucial early hours was criticized in an earlier occupational health and safety report, which found RCMP employees did not have the necessary supervision and operated in an “environment of confusion.”

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Campbell, who was promoted to the rank of chief superintendent after the mass killing, led the RCMP’s investigation into the incident, and was the public face of the RCMP during news conferences in the weeks after the rampage.

He is also scheduled to testify before the House of Commons public safety committee, which is exploring whether there was political meddling with the RCMP as it investigated what happened.

On April 28, 2020, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki met with Campbell and other Nova Scotia staff following a news conference, and is alleged to have raised criticisms about the superintendent’s decision not to release details about the killer’s weapons.

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Campbell wrote in his notes– only released recently — that Lucki said she’d promised the federal government the force would release information about the weapons the gunman used, as the Liberals advanced gun control legislation.

The officer said he resisted her request, saying the investigation was ongoing, and in fact the types of weaponry didn’t emerge in public until the National Post obtained them through an access to information request in November that year.

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Some gun control experts have argued that Campbell and the Mounties were too tight-lipped about the nature of the weapons, suggesting it wouldn’t have had a significant impact on the investigation.

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

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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