RCMP superintendant describes 'chaotic scene' in Portapique and force's response to it
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia RCMP Supt. Darren Campbell said it was a "chaotic scene" in Portapique the night of April 18 when Gabriel Wortman started his killing spree, but can't explain why the Mounties' first tweet drastically understated the carnage on Portapique Beach Road that night.
In an interview with CTV News Atlantic Anchor Steve Murphy, Campbell says he wasn't part of the conversation between the officers on the scene and the communications people who sent out the first tweet, which dramatically understated what had taken place in Portapique by calling it a "firearms complaint."
"It was a chaotic scene," Campbell said. "It was dynamic, it was evolving and all of the details weren't known; I can't speak as to why they chose that language."
Campbell also said that he wouldn't "say (that) response was well done." "Shots fired" or "people under fire" would have been more accurate, he said.
In the interview, Campbell also goes into detail about the number of officers that were first sent to respond, who was in charge, and how the situation was managed on the scene and at headquarters.
Campbell, who is the criminal services officer in the Criminal Operations Division of the Nova Scotia RCMP, said he received a phone call about the situation at around 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 – soon after it was reported to police.
Campbell also talks about the possibility of criminal charges – even though the killer is dead and was acting alone during the two-day rampage, which left 22 people dead in several Nova Scotia communities.
Lastly, Campbell says the RCMP would “welcome and participate” actively in any review or inquiry into the mass shooting and how the RCMP handled earlier complaints against Wortman, as well as how it responded to the rampage.