Indigenous residents question RCMP failure to issue warnings about N.S. mass shooter

An inquiry into the Nova Scotia mass shooting heard today from Indigenous residents who complained about the RCMP’s failure to issue timely warnings as the killer passed near two First Nations during his 13-hour rampage.

The inquiry has heard that late on the night of April 18, 2020, the RCMP started issuing alerts via Twitter, but those messages did not mention that an active shooter was on the loose — a warning that wasn’t issued until 8 a.m. the next day.

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Cheryl Copage-Gehue, a member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation, says two of the killer’s 22 victims — a Mountie and a young man on an errand — were murdered near her Indigenous community, also known as Indian Brook.

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Copage-Gehue says local residents don’t use Twitter, which left them vulnerable on the morning of April 19, 2020, when the killer was still at large, disguised as a Mountie and driving a car that look exactly like a marked RCMP cruiser.

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She says the First Nation north of Halifax has since set up its own alerting system.

Luke Markie, who works for the security service that patrols Millbrook First Nation, says that at one point the killer stopped his vehicle in the community, but most residents were unaware of the danger.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 13, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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