Canada

RCMP who responded to N.S. mass shooting linked to murder case under federal review

HALIFAX – RCMP officers who responded to the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting are being linked to the alleged mishandling of a 2017 murder case that is under federal review.

The inquiry investigating the Nova Scotia mass shooting released the identities this week of RCMP officers named in a 2018 internal police review of the gaps in the force’s response to the Susie Butlin case.

Butlin had complained to the Nova Scotia RCMP about being sexually assaulted and harassed by Ernest Ross Duggan before he killed her in September 2017.

Among the officers involved in the Butlin case and in the Nova Scotia mass shooting is Const. Greg Wiley, who on Aug. 26, 2017, received Butlin’s complaints of harassment and was assigned as lead investigator.

According to the internal police report, Wiley “determined there was no basis for charges” and advised her to block Duggan on Facebook.

Butlin’s murder investigation is now under a federal civilian review examining the RCMP’s response to her complaints and the adequacy of its handling of sexual assault investigations.

Wiley is also the officer who was asked to look into whether Gabriel Wortman — the man who murdered 22 people in April 2020 — had firearms at his home in Portapique, N.S., in 2010. Around that time Wortman had threatened to kill his parents in New Brunswick.

The investigation into the alleged death threat did not lead to any charges.

Wiley has also told the public inquiry that he encountered Wortman “between 10 and 20 times” during a relationship with the killer that developed after the constable helped solve a theft case at Wortman’s Portapique home.

The internal Butlin report was originally submitted to the inquiry in a redacted form that blacked out the names of officers. Inquiry commission counsel Jennifer Cox said Monday that withholding the officers’ names “impacted our ability to do the work.”

Cox added that the inquiry will work to rectify the situation and “overcome the fact that we might have missed opportunities to question witnesses when they appeared before the commission.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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