5/11/2020

Manitoba’s police watchdog says an investigation into an off-duty Mountie who reportedly shot himself in the foot while goose hunting has ended because of a lack of information.

The Independent Investigations Unit’s report into the Sept. 7 shooting notes that RCMP didn’t report it for nearly three months, which made collection of evidence from the scene near Grunthal, south of Winnipeg, difficult.

The unit’s civilian director, Zane Tessler, says initial information indicated the officer had surgery and may have had a toe or toes amputated, but he exercised his right to refuse to be interviewed by investigators.

The officer also wouldn’t consent to the release of his medical records.

The report says officers saw the Mountie being treated by ambulance staff and he had a bandage on his big toe, but they didn’t take adequate notes at the time.

The officers also didn’t record the name of a potential witness and decided no further action was necessary.

No gun wasn’t seized and officers recorded no information about the weapon, other than that it appeared to be a shotgun.

The report says investigators were not able to determine the nature or extent of the officer’s injuries. And because so little could be determined, the file was closed.

“For all intents, this investigation ended almost as soon as it began. If not for the diligence of senior RCMP management, who discovered the oversight of the delayed notification and took immediate steps to rectify the matter, IIU would never have known,” Tessler wrote.

“We anticipate that senior RCMP management will deal with the issues identified in this report that effectively rendered this investigation null.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2020.

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