Man who reported shots fired at St. John's apartment stands by timeline despite RNC claims

·3 min read
Jordan Tobin is stunned by a police response to his complaint last week that officers took over three hours to show up to investigate reports of gunfire. (Malone Mullin/CBC - image credit)
Jordan Tobin is stunned by a police response to his complaint last week that officers took over three hours to show up to investigate reports of gunfire. (Malone Mullin/CBC - image credit)

The bullet holes riddling a Thorburn Road apartment complex have now been plastered over with cardboard and duct tape, but in the early hours of Thursday morning, they were fresh; they'd sliced through several layers of drywall and metal, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Jordan Tobin says he clearly saw the mess when he called police, right after hearing gunshots ring out just below his window.

He doesn't think he'd brush over that part.

The gunfire woke him up, startled, he said. "I took off, ran down the hallway, came out here.… I seen my front lobby absolutely destroyed," he recalled Monday afternoon.

Tobin spoke to CBC just hours after the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary announced they didn't have any record of his call describing the bullet holes — nor anybody else's from the complex — until 6 o'clock that morning.

The RNC release claims that Tobin's interview with CBC on Thursday was inaccurate, calling the article a "false report."

The force insists that it didn't get any reports describing gunshot-related property damage until after 6 a.m., and says officers didn't find any evidence of gunfire before that time, despite "scouring" the Thorburn Road area.

"The RNC has completed a thorough review of all calls to the police service on the date in question, and are satisfied that prior to 6:23 a.m. there had been no report of property damage resulting from gunshots. It was at 6:23 am that the RNC received information related to property damage consistent with gunshots at 78 Thorburn Road," the release says.

"Officers responded at that time and launched an investigation. All indications that the RNC received reports that gunshots had caused damage to property at a specific location prior to this response are false."

'Absolutely certain' address was provided: resident

Their response has left Tobin bewildered.

"I'm absolutely certain that when I placed that call I gave the address," he said.

Tobin recalls with fine detail a commotion in the hallway as he spoke to 911 operators just after the gunshots, and told them his precise location before he hung up.

"I wouldn't have walked away until I knew I provided everything I needed," he said.

Tobin waited with other residents until 4 a.m. for police, who never arrived. Then he went back to bed.

He was woken up around 6 a.m. by one of his neighbours, who said police still hadn't shown up. He says she called them again to make another report.

Malone Mullin/CBC
Malone Mullin/CBC

Tobin is one of three witnesses who spoke to CBC News. One of them said he heard Tobin and another resident describing the property damage in two separate calls around 3 a.m.

CBC has viewed a screenshot of that resident's call to 911, which lasted a minute.

Tobin also received multiple calls back from police shortly after, as shown in screenshots and a voicemail message recording provided to CBC. The missed calls span from 2:53 a.m. to 3 a.m.

The police force refused an interview Monday.

A spokesperson has not yet replied to questions sent by email but said three people have been arrested in connection with various gun crimes in St. John's since May 13.

Malone Mullin/CBC
Malone Mullin/CBC

Tobin, who met with CBC again Monday outside the complex, says he understands if lines got crossed and their reports weren't relayed, especially if multiple calls reached the force simultaneously.

"They don't want to be perceived as being incompetent and weak," he said. "Three hours to get to such an event? There's really nothing good to say about it."

But, he says, he just wants honesty and transparency.

"It's unfortunate to see them digging their heels into this stance," Tobin said.

"This all would have been water under the bridge by now."

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