Former police watchdog head denies directing RCMP not to reveal N.S. shooter's guns

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The former director of Nova Scotia’s police watchdog denies telling the RCMP not to release a list of the weapons seized from the gunman who murdered 22 people in April 2020.

Pat Curran — who led the Serious Incident Response Team at the time of the shootings — says he “gave no directives to the RCMP” about the five firearms Gabriel Wortman had in his possession when he was killed by police at a gas station on April 19.

That contradicts statements made by RCMP Chief Supt. Chris Leather and retired assistant commissioner Lee Bergerman on Monday to a parliamentary committee investigating alleged political interference in the police investigation.

Several members of the Nova Scotia RCMP have said they believe Commissioner Brenda Lucki was under pressure from the offices of the prime minister and the public safety minister to ensure police released the type of weapons involved, as the federal government was preparing to announce a new ban on assault-style rifles.

Leather told the committee he and Bergerman made “an agreement and commitment” to Curran on April 23, 2020, that they would not release a weapons inventory outside the RCMP, and Lucki should have been aware of that when she sent the inventory to government officials that same day.

Curran says those weapons were not part of his investigation into the gunman’s death and he did not have a list of the weapons until it was given to him on April 27, 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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