RCMP made serious mistakes during Ottawa shooting: sources
Published Friday, May 22, 2015 10:06PM EDT
CTV News has learned of serious mistakes by RCMP officers when shots rang out on Parliament Hill last October.
The new details shine light on what happened in those terrifying hours after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot at the National War Memorial, and Parliament Hill was stormed just moments later.
In one case, a Mountie fled Parliament Hill, running the opposite way as gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed the Centre Block, according to sources.
Before that, an officer was texting on his phone and didn't notice as Bibeau drove by in a vehicle he had commandeered.
And even after gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was killed by then-Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a Mountie unloaded his firearm into Bibeau's body.
That wasn't the only questionable incident that took place after the threat was eradicated. Another officer accidentally discharged his weapon, the bullet grazing his leg. The sound of the gunshot caused temporary panic that a second shooter was on the loose.
That wasn't the case, but it took police eight agonizing hours to confirm the threat was over.
The details come after the Ottawa Police Service, which is responsible for security off Parliament Hill, owned up to its own mistakes on that day.
More than 300 Ottawa Police officers deployed all around the city as word of the shooting spread, but many of them decided on their own to join the effort.
That caused its own set of problems as some showed up in street clothes and others donned balaclava-style masks -- causing concerned members of the public to report sightings of armed, masked men around the city. Those reports led to unnecessary investigations which further confused and taxed authorities.
There were also moments of heroism. Greg Peters, a former senior RCMP officer in charge of Senate security, actually injured himself helping a fellow employee get to safety.
"In an effort to get a fellow employee to safety, he sustained injuries to his lower legs jumping from the building to the pavement 20 feet below," said a statement from the Senate of Canada, praising Peters' efforts.
With a report by CTV’s Omar Sachedina in Ottawa