Three members of the Codiac RCMP detachment were killed and two others wounded on June 4, gunned down by the 24-year-old Bourque with a high-powered firearm as he roamed a Moncton neighbourhood.
After the shootings, questions quickly surfaced about whether the RCMP were adequately armed to deal with someone as heavily armed as Bourque, who used an M305 .308 semiautomatic rifle and a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun.
Robert Creasser, a retired RCMP officer who leads a group representing about 2,000 of the estimated 18,000 Mounties across Canada, said the 9-mm handguns available to the officers to deal with Bourque were "not an adequate response."
"Who knows whether it would have made a difference if they had responded and they had the high-calibre weaponry in their vehicle, or they had their ballistic vests," said Creasser in June.
Creasser said ceramic-plated ballistic vests had to be flown into Moncton from Ottawa on the night of the shootings.
When the review by retired assistant RCMP commissioner Phonse MacNeil was ordered in July, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson was critical of "careless analysis" being carried out.
"These early discussions concerning deployment of hard body armour and carbines are a very superficial, easy and incomplete effort to look for explanations and orient blame for what has happened," stated Paulson when he announced the internal review.
Paulson indicated J Division in New Brunswick was in the early stage of deploying C-8 carbine weapons for use by Mounties. Codiac had four members trained to use the weapons, but the detachment's six patrol carbines were deployed in training on June 4 and were not available.
Each RCMP car responding to the shooting had hard body armour in it at the time, stated Paulson in July.
Killed by Bourque were constables Douglas James Larche, 40, Dave Joseph Ross, 32, and Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45.
Constables Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen were wounded.
Paulson ordered the review to determine whether anything could have been done to prevent the deaths. The review was to include:- Whether Bourque's actions could have been reasonably foreseen.
- The initial and long-term response of RCMP to the shooting.
- RCMP training to deal with such an incident.
- The tactics used by RCMP.
- The equipment used by RCMP.
- Support for RCMP employees and families.
"In short, all aspects of this terrible incident," said Paulson.
The RCMP commissioner said at the time Canadians need to "prevent our communities from producing more offenders like this."
Bourque, now 25, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 75 years, which is the longest period of parole ineligibility in Canadian history.
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