July 4, 2014 12:13 pm
Updated: July 4, 2014 7:15 pm

RCMP launches sweeping review into shooting deaths of Moncton officers

Watch above: The RCMP will conduct and internal review of the Mounties’ response to the shooting rampage that left three officers dead. Ross Lord reports.

The RCMP has announced it will conduct an internal review on an accelerated timetable following a shooting rampage last month in Moncton that left three officers dead and two others injured.

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In an email originally sent on June 25 and posted to the RCMP website Thursday, Commissioner Bob Paulson said the review and any subsequent action would happen “long before” the court case of the accused, 24-year-old Justin Bourque, concludes.

The RCMP review will examine several issues, including the deployment of body armour and carbine rifles, officer training and whether the actions of the accused could have been foreseen.

“There are some reasonable and important questions to be asked,” Paulson wrote. “Chief among them is whether there is anything that ought to have been done differently which could have prevented these deaths?”

READ MORE: Thousands attend RCMP regimental funeral service for Moncton officers

Constables Dave Ross, Douglas Larche, and Fabrice Gevaudan were gunned down on June 4 after responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential neighbourhood in the northwest area of the city.

Two other officers — constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen — were wounded and released from hospital.

The shootings and ensuing manhunt brought the city to a standstill until an arrest was made about 30 hours later.

The overarching question the review aims to answer is whether anything could have been done differently to avert the tragedy that unfolded.

“Clearly the death of our three members in the course of duty and the near deaths of many others demand that we seek to fully understand the facts, learn from them and if required, change our practices promptly,” Paulson wrote. “We must do this analysis and make any necessary changes long before the court process concludes. The safety and security of our members demand it.”

Responding to concerns about adequate supplies of hard body armour, Paulson said in the email each car that responded to the shooting was carrying a set of it, and later clarified that all but three of the responding patrol vehicles and traffic cars had a set inside.

He said 132 more sets of armour were flown into Moncton to account for the additional officers who were helping with the manhunt.

The RCMP has asked retired Assistant Commissioner Phonse MacNeil, the former commanding officer of H Division, to lead the review.

READ MORE: Who is Justin Bourque, suspect in Moncton shooting?

Bourque appeared in Moncton provincial court on Thursday, where his lawyer asked that he undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He will return to court July 31 when a judge will determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

He is facing three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

With files from The Canadian Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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