Gunfire at Canadian Tire

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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RNC investigating RCMP altercation, gunshots on St. John's parking lot

In what is normally a relatively quiet St. John's neighbourhood, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary forensic investigators spent hours Monday night scouring the west side of the Canadian Tire parking lot on Elizabeth Avenue for evidence following an incident involving gunshots.

RNC spokesman Const. Paul Davis said plainclothes RCMP officers were on the parking lot around 5:20 p.m. "attempting to effect an arrest when there was an altercation between the officers and the persons they were attempting to arrest and during that altercation, a police officer discharged his service firearm."

In what is normally a relatively quiet St. John's neighbourhood, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary forensic investigators spent hours Monday night scouring the west side of the Canadian Tire parking lot on Elizabeth Avenue for evidence following an incident involving gunshots.

RNC spokesman Const. Paul Davis said plainclothes RCMP officers were on the parking lot around 5:20 p.m. "attempting to effect an arrest when there was an altercation between the officers and the persons they were attempting to arrest and during that altercation, a police officer discharged his service firearm."

Davis said the people they were attempting to arrest fled the area and are at large.

"We are, again, very early in this investigation and there's not much in further details that I can provide you at this point in time," he told reporters at the scene.

He was unable to provide details as to how many RCMP officers or how many suspects were involved in the incident.

The RNC is working very closely with the RCMP as part of the investigation, Davis said, and is interested in interviewing anyone who was in the area at the time.

Davis couldn't say how many shots were fired, or if the suspects were armed.

However, at least four shell casings could be seen on the area of the parking lot, surrounded by yellow police tape, as well as debris from a vehicle.

Spectators who flocked to the area Monday night, including nearby residents and Canadian Tire customers, seemed shocked to hear that a gun had been fired in the heart of St. John's, but none of them had witnessed the incident.

Asked whether the suspects who fled could be a danger to the public, Davis said, "that's a matter that is part of this investigation and we're very early in the investigation. ... When we have some further information in regards to the persons, the reasons for the arrest and to answer your question, we will provide it."

At this point, he said, the RNC has no reason to believe there were any injuries due to the RCMP firearm being used.

Interviewing witnesses

"There's a large number of investigators from the RNC who are being briefed and who are engaging now in the investigation," Davis said. "We have a number of witnesses that we are interviewing as well as we speak.

"We are appealing to the public, anyone who was here at that time and witnessed any of the events that took place here this afternoon, we are asking them to contact the RNC."

Late Monday night, Davis issued a release with information regarding two vehicles involved in the incident.

The first is described as a black Toyota Tundra truck with a Quebec licence plate, number FFY43681. The second is a 2007 blue Toyota Tundra truck with a Newfoundland licence plate, number CSL-360.

Anyone with information in relation to either of these vehicles is asked to contact the RNC or RCMP immediately. Police are advising the public to not approach the vehicles or persons associated with the vehicles.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or anyone having any information in relation to the incident, is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information can also be provided on the Newfoundland and Labrador Crime Stoppers website at www.rocktips. ca.

RCMP communications officials could not be reached for comment by press time.

dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: RNC, RCMP, Canadian Tire Crime Stoppers

Geographic location: St. John's, Elizabeth Avenue, Quebec Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Telling it like it is (c)
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Everyone thinks they're a criminal expert just because they watch a few episodes of CSI.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    There is definitely something fishy here. Why was the RCMP doing this kind of arrest in St. John's? Did the RNC know about this?It doesn't seem like the RNC knew this was going on in their jurisdiction. If not a lack of communication between these forces. What would have happened had there been an off duty RNC seeing the plain clothes RCMP shooting, with moms, dads and little kids going into the store? Would he have shot the RCMP? This whole thing reeks of incompetance, and seems as though amatures are out there shooting up the neighbourhood.

  • Average Joe III
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Joanie, unless you have some info not released to the public, how would you be able to make a judgement like that?

    Granted a discharged firearm is a very serious occurance, but when dealing with criminals, anything can happen.
    I would like to hear the whole story before I pass judgement.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    The authorities have warned us for a while that prosperity would bring guns and violence to our little city. I was, however, under the impression that it would be because of criminals that we began reading of shots fired in the news. It turns out, the RCMP may well be the people who bring gun violence to our little city. How will a criminal react when he reads this story? Will he or she buy a gun for personal protection now fearing being shot at by the cops? Will the two that got away start carrying now too? I'm sure they feel very very lucky today. If they don't, they certainly should. Death by gun can happen very quickly and this story just adds up to more criminals thinking they should carry them out of fear of being shot.

  • Reality
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Whahis the matter with both our police forces? Almost like Keystone Cops. Money stolen from theis own headquarters by one of their own, two Newfoundlanders with mental problems shot dead by RNC officers. Also the RCMP is a little worst, cattle prodding a man to death at the Vancover airport etc. etc. Maybe both forces need retraining.

  • Rick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    This is a sign of things to come, thats for sure. I have said for a long time with a boom economy comes boom crime. What ever happened to our small city, we will be no different then any big city shortly. When we become too scared to talk and come forward in criminal matters we're done. I hope that never happens.

  • CD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    There seems to be quite a bit of jumping to conclusions and speculation happening here. We do not know what led to the discharge of the weapon. We do not know if all shots missed their mark - the suspects escaped, perhaps one or more have bbeen injured.

    The vigilante / anti-police attitude and approach to calling for the stripping the police of their guns and disciplinary action is uncalled for. Yes there are numerous questions that we all have, but until those answers are provided, jumping to conclusions is uncalled for.

  • tax
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    few things about all this.nice fur on that cop's cap,he got some stance there on the go,i wonder is that a cheap camera??great sales pitch for canadian tire...

  • Wince
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I don't normally defend the police but I would suggest that we wait and get the whole story. Perhaps one of these suspects tried to take the officers gun and it went off in the struggle.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    The police are just like any other college grad out there working month to month to pay the bills, bumbling along trying not to screw up. And hiding it if they can, just like everybody else. They are no tooth fairy or hero-in-the-qeue. People need to stop believing in them like some demi-god. When was the last time you reported your vehicle broken into or something stolen from your shed ? When it happens, you'll see how magical their services are.

    If this was a failed drug bust, maybe it's time to stop force on force and try fighting economically. Treat drugs like alcohol. Alcohol is proven destructive on person and society in so many ways. The war on drugs was lost decades ago, it's like fighting tidal waves. If we banned alcohol what would happen ? We'd have unheard of carnage in the streets. Good thing we have taken alcohol away from the underworld and have regulated it. Just a thought.

  • Michael
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Yes I believe a lot of this is just the same as if we were all out in our neighbouring gardens with imaginary clotheslines and for many just spreading gossip...I have to say that because it started off in the Telegram story about gunfire on a CT parking lot in the afternoon. There was mention of RCMP being involved in a city that we know RNC is responsible for, however dont forget RCMP have jurisdiction as well, and having said that another police force that is in St. John's (Ports Canada) has jurisdiction I believe as far as 25 miles from the port that would include Elizabeth Avenue area ! But I digress, my point here is police that were involved had jurisdiction.

    It is my understanding that witnesses (if there are any) and seeing the number that have commented here is it plausible that any witness here should be passing their information no matter how large or little on to a proper authoruty than the Telegram's chatline?

    Somebody was well trained, the officer because if he or she fired one shot (or even if there were more) lives were not lost! I shiver to think that there could very well have been a full parking lot of pedestrians, workers and alike going their merry way to have supper at 5:20pm in the afternoon. Whatever the cause , I hate to think it was for shoplifting, if it was it has come along way (and the wrong way) since my day of working with Shannahans with fuzz, phonse and bob as we looked after Sobey's Dominion and CT store 144 (then with %. ^. Jefferson).

    When maybe we should have been looking out for the neighbouring orphans of the then Mount Cashel which was in that same block. (Hindsight has told us that).

    Whatever the problem that caused our Federal police force to be there for (and an out-of-town plate) suggests that this matter was more federal than provincial. The fact is we dont know and we should not be guessing.

    It is too bad that Newfoundland's cities / towns/coves and bays have lost its virginity (for the want of a better word) regarding the use of firearms. There was a time when I recall that the distance (of time) between Cst. Amy's death in Whitbourne area and the teenager shot to death by a Mountie in the Avondale area (for pointing a non-working firearm) illustrated how safe the streets were....it is not so today and Monday's incident verifies this.

    Comments across the imaginery clothesline even spoke of m/c groups possibly being involved.

    Another question coming to my mind is that Toyota Tundras can also be nasty weapons to threaten a person's life as well...probably even the RCM Police officer's life? Could it not?

    Maybe it would be worth our while to wait til arrests are made, charged laid and the court trial begins? Who knows some of you could be askred to do your duty/duties as jurors in the case!

    Then you might have an opportunity to think to yourselves when they bring them up from under the clock (or whereever the sheriffs/peace officers bring them from bring up the guilty $%^&#$s we give them a fair trial.

  • Coda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    I'm disgusted with the already prejudice opinions being voiced and we don't know the whole story. Even the Telegram was told that they cannot provide all details at that time .

    You guys should be ashamed of yourselves jumping to conclusions like that. That is how the three stories get started, his side, her side and the truth.

    I'm just glad to know first off, that none of the officers and victims got hurt, but yes, I'm interested in knowing the true story but until till I'll hold my opinion.

  • E
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    How does anyone know how many shots were fired?
    How does anyone know that the suspect didn't fire first?
    How does anyone know the officer missed?
    How does anyone know that the RCMP and RNC were not keeping the other force informed?
    How does anyone know that this not an RCMP sting (These can become a part of anyone's jurisdiction).
    How does anyone know it was a drug sting?
    How does anyone know it wasn't a drug sting?
    How does anyone know that the undercover police weren't asked to meet there in a public place for a drug deal ?
    And lastly, how the hell does anyone know what to do in this situation if they have never been in it????!!!!
    NOBODY knows ANYTHING right now so stop guessing and instigating and wait for the facts...because unless you were there and were a part of it...you know NOTHING!

  • Angelica
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    No where does it say that the FOUR shots were from the RCMP officers weapon? Perhaps the suspects had a gun and were firing too, thus the reason we are warned NOT to approach the Tundra owners if we see them. PS: I saw the Quebec plated Tundra at the Holiday Inn Parking Lot on Thursday... love trucks, noted the 'different' plate.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Some of you people are so close-minded. The RNC were the only police force in Canada that did not carry guns in the early 90's, and the reason it was brought in was because out safe city, was not so safe anymore. The RCMP, as you are aware, always carried guns, and whether or not the RNC carry firearms(which isn't even an option), this situation still would have happened. With all of the drug busts and murders in our cities/province in the last few years, I am glad our police force carry firearms, and from the sounds of this, are not afraid to use them.
    We, the public, do not know the circumstances to why the guns were fired last evening, but I'm sure they were fired for good reason. Police firing weapons in Newfoundland is not a common occurrence, so I have all of the faith in the world in the police that when they fire a weapon, there was a good reason behind it. I agree, that yes, it is a busy area of the city, and I'm sure that if these officers felt that they did not need to fire, then they wouldn't have.
    Time for people in Newfoundland to get their head out of the clouds. Drug dealers and criminals carry guns and other weapons, so if police feel they are threatened, or the public is threatened, then by all means, take all precautions that are necessary.

  • concern mom from NL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I don't know what really happened; it seems to me that we as a province are getting richer so the crime rate will indeed increase. This being said' we still have to hold our ground as proud Newfoundlanders and not be afraid to report these scum bags. We have to not only think of ourselves we have to think of our children. The police cannot rely on themselves alone. They need our help as well. I also think we as a province should have tougher sentences. I mean you get a heftier sentence for hunting moose out of season then if you committed sexual assault to a minor. Common buys something is wrong with this picture!

  • Ethan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I feel the public has the right to know what happend in that parking lot. If these criminals are still at large, we desereve to know why they were shot at. Is it because they had weapons themselves, or did they try to use thier big toyota tundra's as a weapon? I personally get the wiff of organized crime. I can only hope these suspects will be caught sooner rather than later

  • crackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    A blue Toyota Tundra- can they be a little more descriptive? What tone blue - med, light, dark. Check your license plates- they could be stolen already.

  • Ralph
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Well, well, well Another screw up by the cops. Another pathetic cover up also by The RNC. I cna see it now. Nice to know nobody got hurt but by the story if you read it I can easily tell it was most likely a drug bust. If not, what was RCMP doing following a truck or doing surveillance on a truck from Quebec in the St. John's area. Sounds icky to me. Luckily nobody got shot. How many times will this type of incident happen and be called a mere accident before somebody an innocent person get's shot and maybe killed.

    You would think the RCMP would have had back-up from other police forces or even their own. Sounds stupid to me. Trying to arrest dangerous suspects on a bust parking lot. Sounds stupid and pathetic. I think they are watching too much CSI.

  • Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Disciplinary action for what, exactly, Joanie?

  • Rick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    After reading some of these comments, I have to say I think some of you are nuts. First of all I am not a police officer nor do I have anything or anybody involved with policing. I do believe they make mistakes, but I also believing in get the facts before pointing fingers. We have no idea if their lives were at stake, I would like to think that they did what was necessary to protect them and us. We don't live in a shelter province any more, the amount of criminal activity here has climb more then the average person would know. So come out to the real world. You people are so funny, don't firer your guns, don't do this don't do that. If they acted like you want them to do, we wouldn't be able to leave our home, because of fear. At least now the criminals know there are risks, and yes you will argue that now they will start carrying guns. What world do you live in, they already do. Wake up.

  • Mortimer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    John, criminals have guns... If you were an RCMP Officer dealing with dangerous criminals, I am quite sure you would not want to have to call in a request to retrieve your weapon from the trunk of your cruiser while you life is in immanent danger. Everyone always has something to say about the police force, and how they aren't doing their jobs properly. But they won't go through the required training and put on a badge to serve their city/province/country.

  • JM
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Get real people! Drug dealers and other low life criminals that would require some sort of undercover operation are obviously presummed armed and dangerous. What are the police supposed to do? Walk up to the criminal they are trying to apprehend and say Hi, can you please stand here for a moment while I contact my superior to see if I'm allowed to remove my gun from a lock box in my trunk that I can use to apprehend you and your friends? Not likely. If shots were fired, it was most likely in self defense, as that's the only reason any peace officer (RNC, RCMP or military) is allowed to discharge a weapon - only fire if fired upon.

  • P
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Why would the RCMP attempt an arrest in the middle of a Canadian Tire parking lot at 5:00pm with so many bystanders if the individuals were considered to be dangerous, which I can only assume they are based on the directions to the public not to approach the vehicles or individuals if seen? Seems like someone made a bad call to pull the trigger on this one, to pardon the pun.

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Mandy, I am not naieve enough to believe that the Hells Angels are not already operating in Newfoundland, but they have not entrenched themselves here like in other provinces. St. John's in the last 10 years has started developing organised car theft rings and break and enter pools. You can buy coke easier on any street corner than you can a gram of weed, and prostitution is more relevant than it has ever been. With that said, based on crime statistics from other major metropolis areas across Canada, St. John's is still on the mild end of the crime scale in comparison. If something is not done, then the Hells Angels are going to move in and TAKE OVER, just like they have done in so many other cities. But hey, I will certainly try to keep up.

  • Mary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I think that people should keep their opinions to themselves until they know the full facts. I am thankful that both the RNC & RCMP have the appropriate defenses to protect both themselves and the public from the dangers that I am sure we don't know all about. Newfoundland has always been a pretty safe and enjoyable place to live, however, we are no longer escaping the prominent crimes that use to be a thing that happened in other provinces, states, and countries. The amount of drug abuse in our society today has lead to the drastic measures that those addicted will do to feed their crave. I think we need more treatment centers and options available to these people and by helping them we can deter the increase of all the drugs that are finding their way into the province.
    I support our RNC and RCMP and thankful that we have these people willing to put their lives on the line to protect us the public. Like every organization there are people who are not in that profession for the right reason but thankfully those are few and far between. Thank you RNC and RCMP for your dedication and support to our province.

  • Scotty2times
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I'm still trying to figure out how these two large pick-up trucks managed to get away?? that parking lot has two points of entry.. I understand a truck of that size whould have no problem popping a curb and fleeing that way, but wouldn't there have been other officers in other unmarked cars watching these exit points? TWO vehicals got away??? umm.. in St. John's... sooo... did they let them get away? I could have followed those trucks in my 92' civic!!

  • Duck and
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I guess the bad guys are going to need a little more than a can of bear spray these days. Or was this a case of just someone parking in the handicapped spot and the cops getting worked up when they refused to move since they felt it was reserved for them?

  • Scotty2times
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    There is one thing about this sistuation that we haven't really touched on.. and that is the fact that we probably wont be told what happend! Somewhere down the line someone in the RCMP friged up! I hope to god they find these animals!!

  • E
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Sounding Off... Maybe you should stop reading the comments if you insist on making personal digs...you obviously didn't read earlier comments because I am not the only person with the exact same opinion.

  • Average Joe III
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Joanie, unless you have some info not released to the public, how would you be able to make a judgement like that?

    Granted a discharged firearm is a very serious occurance, but when dealing with criminals, anything can happen.
    I would like to hear the whole story before I pass judgement.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I agree with Joanie...there is something wrong here:i.e. police firning guns off in a residential area when there was no emergency. We must take matters such as those under better control. There is far too much use of guns by police in this province.

  • Joanie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    From what I have read in this story it was an undercover operation that had gone sour, I really thought these were trained professionals who are there to protect our citizens. Why 4 shots and obviously 4 misses, are they trained properly? This could have certainly been alot worse, especially in a busy neighbourhood where there are alot of familes and not to mention in a big store at a busy time of day. I too had just come up on this incident as it was getting underway, thankfully there were no serious injuries - or any that had been reported anyway.
    It seems that our police force is falling apart in the seams, too many occurances and in a short period of time.

    I say RE-TRAINING is in order and more diciplinary action is needed.

  • pat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    maybe it was a newfoundland 21 gun salute n the cops lost count

  • Ralph
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Average Joelll:
    Publish your real name for goodness sake or are you a fake?
    That is serious firing guns in public. Yes, dealing with crinminals can be a dangerous act or can turn dangerous, however, cops are supposed to be well trained on how to do just that. I agree with Joanne that better training and discipline is needed. I don't think she means to punish them but to train them better. I served in The Military and I have handled firearm for 30 plus years and have never had a misfire or an accident. accidents happen becuase of carelessness and stupidity.Where firearms are involved, there is no limit or room for mistakes whatsoever.

    as for the comment by John Greene; I totally agree with you sir about better control. That there is way too much dicharge of firearms in the city by police officers. Well said sir.

  • Amazed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I still get amazed every time I'm reading comments about Police and Police matters. We are living in a world where sometimes action may be necessary. For one thing we don't know any information surrounding this incident. Secondly, how come we're not blaming the criminals!

  • Jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I am appalled at the bleeding hearts comments in here. Some of you should give your head a shake and not condone this action. Do you think it will never affect you or your family ?

    Since the comments sections are precisely for individuals to make their personal opinions known, here is mine...

    ...given no information forwith on suspects firing at the police and no injuries reported - surely the police would make this known to garner public sentiment - I can see this being another case of the police jumping in front of a fleeing vehicle screaming 'attempted murder !' and firing at the vehicle. This police tactic should be considered attempted suicide and a stop put it. It accomplishes nothing but endanger the officer and the public should the fleeing vehicle see a gun pointed at him, because the officer just upped the ante. Since he's still walking, it wasn't attempted murder now was it ?

    Where are those police bullets now ? They probably bounced a mile down the road before embedding themselves into someone's house, car or family pet. Next time we may not be so lucky. Say NO to this dangerous practice and encourage better and safer policing.

  • Sounding
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    E from NL

    You need a holiday! Chill out or don't read thecomments

  • Critics
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I would very much doubt that this was an undercover operation that had gone sour. The likelihood that two large pick-ups would be able to flee successfully from under surveillance during high traffic in a highly congested area must be next to impossible. It's depressing to hear people constantly fault our police forces for doing their jobs. Nothing is perfect and if you think you are then please post your secret instead of your mindless and unproductive negativity.

  • Corey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    1st off, MAN, am I lucky I wasn't anywhere NEAR the area when all this went down. I do agree that it is WAY too early to speculate...but this is Newfoundland, anytime something like this happens, it's unique & everyone seeks to have their say. It does sound as if this was a botched drug bust, but that's for the RNC to investigate. It still shocks me though that, in a public setting, where there is a large amount of traffic( I'm familiar with that intersection & I'm sure others are as well, particularly those that work in the area. ), where there probably were pedestrians nearby, where there also were Canadian Tire customers coming & going, that we have gunshots ringing out right around the supper hour! It is a pretty scary feeling for those involved as well as the general public to know that something like this in entirely capable of occuring. Thankfully though, no one was seriously hurt, but now the suspects have escaped & the manhunt is on. Let's hope for the RNC's sake that they are caught real soon before they resort to more devious tactics. Someone is likely going to have to face the music as a result of what happened. Whatever the case though, things like this happen for a reason. In life, alls we can do is learn from our mistakes & carry on, so that in the future, we will learn from our past misfortunes & find a way to overcome those obstacles & make sure things can get done in the proper fashion. Hopefully, lessons are indeed learned after this.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    This is the reason why they SHOULD NOT GIVE THE COPS ANY GUNS ... People could have been hurt seriously The RCMP should have been more careful , Elizabeth Ave is one of the most busy areas in St John's next to the park way and water street. Even at that time of night . I can remember when the RNC had there guns in there locked away in tthe trunks of there cars and that to call in in order to get the use of there guns and that was back in the early 80's and early 90's ,if it happens again the maybe it should be time for the guns to go back in the trunk of there cars...

  • Clyde
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Cops don't use there firearms unless they really have too. If the suspects pulled a gun on them first then they have to protect themselves. Get use to this, because as the oil money rolls in, so do the drugs and the drug dealers!

  • Malph Rarshal
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    If the suspects were considered dangerous to the public, the police would have said so already. Otherwise, the police would be responsible for dangerous suspects roaming the streets and not warning the public, which is irreprehensible.

    I find it amusing at how many people believe the police are infallible and that their training makes them so good at what they do. It seems these same people have short memories. Also, most police couldn't spell 'g-u-n' before they entered the force. They are given basic training and have basic re-training on firearms at certain intervals, but very few of them are really that proficient with firearms. It seems, from this article, some of them are not very proficient at making sound judgments either.

    Ralph Marshall is that YOUR real name ? Where's the proof ? Everyone has an opinion and Joanie's is not that unreasonable. Julia has excellent points and for the RNC not to be aware of RCMP operations in the city shows how badly managed the two police forces are. But again, I think we already know that given the events of the past year here in St. John's and events across Canada. RCMP top dog William Elliott is having a heck of a hard time trying to restore the RCMP's image not only across Canada, but across Europe (read Poland) as well. Recently an ex-RCMP was caught distributing child porn in Gander just to mention the latest. What shame.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Four gunshots - perhaps the criminals fired three.

  • Be Informed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I can't believe that some people would just jump to the conclusion that it wasn't necessary to shoot a gun in this situation when they weren't even there and have no idea about the circumstances.

    What if the drivers of the vehicle had a gun as well? What if they were the danger to the public and the RCMP were there to protect you? What if the driver was the one who shot a gun and hurt someone? You would be the first to criticize the police for not protecting you.

    Unless you are in the situation, a trained professional, or know all the facts, keep your unintelligent judgments to yourself.

  • Angela
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I am amazed at how many people make such harsh judgements and criticize the intelligence and training of the police without even KNOWING WHAT HAPPENED!

  • Cindi
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I've read through most of these comments and I can hardly believe what some people are saying. I didn't hear people complain when the undercover operation razorback lead to arrests, and seizure of drugs and money! RCMP officers don't go out randomly shooting off their guns in busy parking lots, obviously there was reason to believe that the public and the officers were at risk.I suspect these people who think that this requires disciplinary action have no understanding of undercover work in relation to drug busts and the danger that it imposes on the officers involved and the public. I'm always amazed at how quick people are to criticize without even knowing the facts! It truely is amazing how ignorant people can be, they sit back and bash the police forces when they are protecting our kids from the evil drug dealers who help ruin their lives. Wise up people!

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I just hope this is about something more serious than some pot. If these guys put our lives in danger over something like a pot bust, well somebody needs to do a review. 5pm with kids around, shooting the place up. Is this the proper way to conduct an investigation? They could have let them go and followed. They got away anyway, and people were put in grave danger. I could understand if this was a bank robbery or a holdup of some kind, but an undercover op, I mean come on.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    When the sound of a gun goes off people run. Most run away as fast as they can, the police run towards the fight. They make split second decisions with minimal information and a heart rate through the roof. They fight so you don't have to. Sadly, after the smoke clears they face critism based on scanty media reports. These officers faced a tramautic situation and they deserve the public's support, afterall they were in that situation to protect us. Keep fighting the good fight boys

  • Denise
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I think the cop who discharged his gun in the parking lot has a lot of explaining to do. I don't care if he fired one shot or 50, while he missed his target he could have injured or killed someone. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

  • amazed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    It's always interesting that people like Joanie, with minimal information about the above incident, and who are not a cop, decide this is all the cop's fault and retraining is in order. It was also the RCMP involved btw.
    I would be more concerned that the police felt the need to fire their gun because of the situation they were in.
    As for 4 shots and 4 misses, have you ever fired a gun Joanie? Would you be happy if someone was shot? Have you seen the training police go through? Have you ever been in the situation in which you felt it was necessary to shoot at another person?
    Get informed.

  • Crushing
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    When all this gets looked at and straightened out, we'll all find out who did what, and why!! Bets are the druggies probably pulled a gun......my guess....

  • Isabelle
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Many questions un-answered. Did the criminals shoot first, who shot and why?
    This is a very changing city and the news we hear is changing each day. This topic would not even make the news else where in the world. Please do not judge and accuse before we get all the story and the answers. I certainly would not feel safe if our officers did not carry a fire arms. You do not know who is armed today or not. There was a time to a person who skipped you in line or something very small and trival but today I feel very cautious in picking my battles. Hell you do not know what could or would come of it. I'm not related in any way to any of the RNC and I would not want their responsiblity and risks each day.

  • Mandy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Calvin, just so you're aware, the Hell's Angels are already here and operating several businesses in our city, INcluding one business that has been here for a very long time that they bought out several years ago. Try to keep up.


    People seem to be very anti-police. Why? I don't understand. Everyone seems to believe that cops are awful and that they are stupid and all this other stuff. While I am positive some of them are stupid (because some people in any profession are going to be stupid) you can;t generalize all cops like that. Some of them are extremely brave good people who are trying to keep Newfoundland a low crime area. Why can't people see that?

    And while it seems excessive to fire your weapon four times, and miss four times, we don't know why he fired his weapon yet. Maybe one of the suspects came at him with a knife. Everyone keeps ssaying 'well the suspects didn't shot a gun'..why does it have to be a gun?

    I know that if someone came at me with a knife, and I had a gun, I would definitely defend myself..and those of you who say you wouldn't..are lying. It's that simple. Until you have been put in a situation where your life is being threatened, you don't have any idea what it's like.

  • Todd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    To Calvin:

    Do you think Hells Angels are worried about the police here in NL? Guess what, there are police organizations in Quebec, Ontario, USA and wherever else the HA operate. If they want to come here they will be here (if they aren't already).

    That being said, there are bad people in this City who have no respect for the law or authority. The police aren't given enough power when dealing with these types in my opinion!

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    From reading the breif article about the update to come later today it seems the RCMP really screwed up. A plainsclothes RCMP officer opened fire on suspects being arrested by other RCMP. The suspects are now at large. Wow.

  • Townie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Average joe and amazed that is why you want to live in a police state and the rest of us would like to live in peace.

  • D'Arcy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    IMHO, something that has not been considered in this matter, is the reason for the escalation of violence, namely the prohibition of drugs. Through the alcohol prohibition era, violence was on the upswing, as gangsters did all they could to a)provide people with the substances that they wanted and would find some way of getting and b) protecting the extravagant profits the made as a result. Through a repulsion of the alcohol prohibition laws, police saw an immediate reduction of the amount of violent crime as there was no longer a profit motive for the criminals.

    Going after the criminals will do little or nothing in curbing appetites for illegal substances and often drives up the escalation of violence as gangs compete to control the market. Take out as many criminals as you want, you will do nothing to satisfy the urge. Changing the way we deal with the problem and attempting to determine why people want the drugs in the first place would be far more successful at reducing violence and the inherent costs to society.

    Anyone who wants to understand this more should do a little research on Portugal, who decriminalized ALL drug possession. Over 7 years they went from having the highest usage rate in the EU to the lowest rate.

  • Too
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    What is wrong with everyone today??? There's too many drugs on these streets and kudos to the police force for trying to nab these sick people in society, using guns or no guns...I'd say do whatever they please if they can get these people arrested. I guess some people havent had their homes broken into by these savage thieves to know how bad this problem has gotten in St Johns.

  • Wince
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    You sure they weren't filming a Republic of Doyle episode?

  • missis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I am glad that so many people disagree with Joanie! Everytime something happens everyone blames the police force but when they do something great no one thanks them...

  • expat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Wow. Judging from all the experts posting here it seems there must have been a lot of eyewitnesses who know exactly what happened.

    First of all, the idea of a police force without guns is ludicrous. St. John's has always had crime, drugs, prostitution and gangs. How are the police supposed to keep you all safe and defend themselves?

    Second, I can't image any officer would have fired in a situation that would put an innocent bystander at risk. If it was the police who fired rest assured there was very good reason.

    Instead of all this anger directed at the police why not place the blame where it belongs, on the criminals? If there weren't a market for drugs and prostitutes these low-lifes wouldn't be in business. Blame them, and the people who they sell too. They are the ones putting lives at risk, not hte police who are doing their best to fight the problem.

  • E
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I don't think it is right for anyone to pass judgment until all the facts are known...

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Yeah, lets make sure Cops arent allowed to carry weapons. Then when the Hells Angels move in from Quebec to take over our fair province, they will have no way to defend themselves or us against these criminals. If it was a drug bust, as everyone apparently knows it was, then dont you think maybe the criminals may have had a gun too. I hope the first person to get shot in an altercation like this is shot by one of these low life scum, then maybe people will realise the police are there for our protection. I'm not saying the RNC and RCMP officers are all perfect, but people are way to quick to jump to conclusions about the police based on stories about cops they see on TV. Maybe the officers in our rpovince do need to be re-trained, but the training they need is how to properly deal with the new level of criminal that is starting to invade Newfoundland. Things are getting worse every day, St. John's will gain more and more similarities to big city crime, and the police will end up shooting someone. I only hope they shoot a criminal and send a message saying they are not a bucnh of pushovers before it is too late to salvage our layed back way of life.

  • Julia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I too believe this was yet another drug bust as the RNC said operation Razorback was just the beginning.

    And I know it was an undercover operation and that is why the RNC responded to gun shots and had NO IDEA it was another officer, however, I thought they had realised that working together and sharing information was more appropriate.. also, the suspects didn't fire any weapon so I do think the RCMP was more than likely out of line.

    AS everyone has said, that is a busy area of town, at a busy time of day.. unless the police were fired on I cannot see any justified reason why they used their weapons.

    You have to look at it.. was an arrest worth the loss of innocent lives?

  • jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    It is so easy to sit back and criticize our police force from your comfy computer. I think they are doing a stellar job of protecting our city....a city that is becoming more dangerous and violent each day. Why don't you join the force if you think you could do a better job? They are aggressively recruiting. Did any of you write in and congratulate them on the string of drug busts that took place over the past year, which probably prevented your kids from becoming future junkies? Probably not. The city is growing, get used to it. And you should thank your lucky stars that these people are brave enough to protect your sorry asses.

  • Telling it like it is (c)
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Everyone thinks they're a criminal expert just because they watch a few episodes of CSI.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    There is definitely something fishy here. Why was the RCMP doing this kind of arrest in St. John's? Did the RNC know about this?It doesn't seem like the RNC knew this was going on in their jurisdiction. If not a lack of communication between these forces. What would have happened had there been an off duty RNC seeing the plain clothes RCMP shooting, with moms, dads and little kids going into the store? Would he have shot the RCMP? This whole thing reeks of incompetance, and seems as though amatures are out there shooting up the neighbourhood.

  • Average Joe III
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Joanie, unless you have some info not released to the public, how would you be able to make a judgement like that?

    Granted a discharged firearm is a very serious occurance, but when dealing with criminals, anything can happen.
    I would like to hear the whole story before I pass judgement.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    The authorities have warned us for a while that prosperity would bring guns and violence to our little city. I was, however, under the impression that it would be because of criminals that we began reading of shots fired in the news. It turns out, the RCMP may well be the people who bring gun violence to our little city. How will a criminal react when he reads this story? Will he or she buy a gun for personal protection now fearing being shot at by the cops? Will the two that got away start carrying now too? I'm sure they feel very very lucky today. If they don't, they certainly should. Death by gun can happen very quickly and this story just adds up to more criminals thinking they should carry them out of fear of being shot.

  • Reality
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Whahis the matter with both our police forces? Almost like Keystone Cops. Money stolen from theis own headquarters by one of their own, two Newfoundlanders with mental problems shot dead by RNC officers. Also the RCMP is a little worst, cattle prodding a man to death at the Vancover airport etc. etc. Maybe both forces need retraining.

  • Rick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    This is a sign of things to come, thats for sure. I have said for a long time with a boom economy comes boom crime. What ever happened to our small city, we will be no different then any big city shortly. When we become too scared to talk and come forward in criminal matters we're done. I hope that never happens.

  • CD
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    There seems to be quite a bit of jumping to conclusions and speculation happening here. We do not know what led to the discharge of the weapon. We do not know if all shots missed their mark - the suspects escaped, perhaps one or more have bbeen injured.

    The vigilante / anti-police attitude and approach to calling for the stripping the police of their guns and disciplinary action is uncalled for. Yes there are numerous questions that we all have, but until those answers are provided, jumping to conclusions is uncalled for.

  • tax
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    few things about all this.nice fur on that cop's cap,he got some stance there on the go,i wonder is that a cheap camera??great sales pitch for canadian tire...

  • Wince
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    I don't normally defend the police but I would suggest that we wait and get the whole story. Perhaps one of these suspects tried to take the officers gun and it went off in the struggle.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    The police are just like any other college grad out there working month to month to pay the bills, bumbling along trying not to screw up. And hiding it if they can, just like everybody else. They are no tooth fairy or hero-in-the-qeue. People need to stop believing in them like some demi-god. When was the last time you reported your vehicle broken into or something stolen from your shed ? When it happens, you'll see how magical their services are.

    If this was a failed drug bust, maybe it's time to stop force on force and try fighting economically. Treat drugs like alcohol. Alcohol is proven destructive on person and society in so many ways. The war on drugs was lost decades ago, it's like fighting tidal waves. If we banned alcohol what would happen ? We'd have unheard of carnage in the streets. Good thing we have taken alcohol away from the underworld and have regulated it. Just a thought.

  • Michael
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Yes I believe a lot of this is just the same as if we were all out in our neighbouring gardens with imaginary clotheslines and for many just spreading gossip...I have to say that because it started off in the Telegram story about gunfire on a CT parking lot in the afternoon. There was mention of RCMP being involved in a city that we know RNC is responsible for, however dont forget RCMP have jurisdiction as well, and having said that another police force that is in St. John's (Ports Canada) has jurisdiction I believe as far as 25 miles from the port that would include Elizabeth Avenue area ! But I digress, my point here is police that were involved had jurisdiction.

    It is my understanding that witnesses (if there are any) and seeing the number that have commented here is it plausible that any witness here should be passing their information no matter how large or little on to a proper authoruty than the Telegram's chatline?

    Somebody was well trained, the officer because if he or she fired one shot (or even if there were more) lives were not lost! I shiver to think that there could very well have been a full parking lot of pedestrians, workers and alike going their merry way to have supper at 5:20pm in the afternoon. Whatever the cause , I hate to think it was for shoplifting, if it was it has come along way (and the wrong way) since my day of working with Shannahans with fuzz, phonse and bob as we looked after Sobey's Dominion and CT store 144 (then with %. ^. Jefferson).

    When maybe we should have been looking out for the neighbouring orphans of the then Mount Cashel which was in that same block. (Hindsight has told us that).

    Whatever the problem that caused our Federal police force to be there for (and an out-of-town plate) suggests that this matter was more federal than provincial. The fact is we dont know and we should not be guessing.

    It is too bad that Newfoundland's cities / towns/coves and bays have lost its virginity (for the want of a better word) regarding the use of firearms. There was a time when I recall that the distance (of time) between Cst. Amy's death in Whitbourne area and the teenager shot to death by a Mountie in the Avondale area (for pointing a non-working firearm) illustrated how safe the streets were....it is not so today and Monday's incident verifies this.

    Comments across the imaginery clothesline even spoke of m/c groups possibly being involved.

    Another question coming to my mind is that Toyota Tundras can also be nasty weapons to threaten a person's life as well...probably even the RCM Police officer's life? Could it not?

    Maybe it would be worth our while to wait til arrests are made, charged laid and the court trial begins? Who knows some of you could be askred to do your duty/duties as jurors in the case!

    Then you might have an opportunity to think to yourselves when they bring them up from under the clock (or whereever the sheriffs/peace officers bring them from bring up the guilty $%^&#$s we give them a fair trial.

  • Coda
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I'm disgusted with the already prejudice opinions being voiced and we don't know the whole story. Even the Telegram was told that they cannot provide all details at that time .

    You guys should be ashamed of yourselves jumping to conclusions like that. That is how the three stories get started, his side, her side and the truth.

    I'm just glad to know first off, that none of the officers and victims got hurt, but yes, I'm interested in knowing the true story but until till I'll hold my opinion.

  • E
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    How does anyone know how many shots were fired?
    How does anyone know that the suspect didn't fire first?
    How does anyone know the officer missed?
    How does anyone know that the RCMP and RNC were not keeping the other force informed?
    How does anyone know that this not an RCMP sting (These can become a part of anyone's jurisdiction).
    How does anyone know it was a drug sting?
    How does anyone know it wasn't a drug sting?
    How does anyone know that the undercover police weren't asked to meet there in a public place for a drug deal ?
    And lastly, how the hell does anyone know what to do in this situation if they have never been in it????!!!!
    NOBODY knows ANYTHING right now so stop guessing and instigating and wait for the facts...because unless you were there and were a part of it...you know NOTHING!

  • Angelica
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    No where does it say that the FOUR shots were from the RCMP officers weapon? Perhaps the suspects had a gun and were firing too, thus the reason we are warned NOT to approach the Tundra owners if we see them. PS: I saw the Quebec plated Tundra at the Holiday Inn Parking Lot on Thursday... love trucks, noted the 'different' plate.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Some of you people are so close-minded. The RNC were the only police force in Canada that did not carry guns in the early 90's, and the reason it was brought in was because out safe city, was not so safe anymore. The RCMP, as you are aware, always carried guns, and whether or not the RNC carry firearms(which isn't even an option), this situation still would have happened. With all of the drug busts and murders in our cities/province in the last few years, I am glad our police force carry firearms, and from the sounds of this, are not afraid to use them.
    We, the public, do not know the circumstances to why the guns were fired last evening, but I'm sure they were fired for good reason. Police firing weapons in Newfoundland is not a common occurrence, so I have all of the faith in the world in the police that when they fire a weapon, there was a good reason behind it. I agree, that yes, it is a busy area of the city, and I'm sure that if these officers felt that they did not need to fire, then they wouldn't have.
    Time for people in Newfoundland to get their head out of the clouds. Drug dealers and criminals carry guns and other weapons, so if police feel they are threatened, or the public is threatened, then by all means, take all precautions that are necessary.

  • concern mom from NL
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I don't know what really happened; it seems to me that we as a province are getting richer so the crime rate will indeed increase. This being said' we still have to hold our ground as proud Newfoundlanders and not be afraid to report these scum bags. We have to not only think of ourselves we have to think of our children. The police cannot rely on themselves alone. They need our help as well. I also think we as a province should have tougher sentences. I mean you get a heftier sentence for hunting moose out of season then if you committed sexual assault to a minor. Common buys something is wrong with this picture!

  • Ethan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I feel the public has the right to know what happend in that parking lot. If these criminals are still at large, we desereve to know why they were shot at. Is it because they had weapons themselves, or did they try to use thier big toyota tundra's as a weapon? I personally get the wiff of organized crime. I can only hope these suspects will be caught sooner rather than later

  • crackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    A blue Toyota Tundra- can they be a little more descriptive? What tone blue - med, light, dark. Check your license plates- they could be stolen already.

  • Ralph
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Well, well, well Another screw up by the cops. Another pathetic cover up also by The RNC. I cna see it now. Nice to know nobody got hurt but by the story if you read it I can easily tell it was most likely a drug bust. If not, what was RCMP doing following a truck or doing surveillance on a truck from Quebec in the St. John's area. Sounds icky to me. Luckily nobody got shot. How many times will this type of incident happen and be called a mere accident before somebody an innocent person get's shot and maybe killed.

    You would think the RCMP would have had back-up from other police forces or even their own. Sounds stupid to me. Trying to arrest dangerous suspects on a bust parking lot. Sounds stupid and pathetic. I think they are watching too much CSI.

  • Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Disciplinary action for what, exactly, Joanie?

  • Rick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    After reading some of these comments, I have to say I think some of you are nuts. First of all I am not a police officer nor do I have anything or anybody involved with policing. I do believe they make mistakes, but I also believing in get the facts before pointing fingers. We have no idea if their lives were at stake, I would like to think that they did what was necessary to protect them and us. We don't live in a shelter province any more, the amount of criminal activity here has climb more then the average person would know. So come out to the real world. You people are so funny, don't firer your guns, don't do this don't do that. If they acted like you want them to do, we wouldn't be able to leave our home, because of fear. At least now the criminals know there are risks, and yes you will argue that now they will start carrying guns. What world do you live in, they already do. Wake up.

  • Mortimer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    John, criminals have guns... If you were an RCMP Officer dealing with dangerous criminals, I am quite sure you would not want to have to call in a request to retrieve your weapon from the trunk of your cruiser while you life is in immanent danger. Everyone always has something to say about the police force, and how they aren't doing their jobs properly. But they won't go through the required training and put on a badge to serve their city/province/country.

  • JM
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Get real people! Drug dealers and other low life criminals that would require some sort of undercover operation are obviously presummed armed and dangerous. What are the police supposed to do? Walk up to the criminal they are trying to apprehend and say Hi, can you please stand here for a moment while I contact my superior to see if I'm allowed to remove my gun from a lock box in my trunk that I can use to apprehend you and your friends? Not likely. If shots were fired, it was most likely in self defense, as that's the only reason any peace officer (RNC, RCMP or military) is allowed to discharge a weapon - only fire if fired upon.

  • P
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Why would the RCMP attempt an arrest in the middle of a Canadian Tire parking lot at 5:00pm with so many bystanders if the individuals were considered to be dangerous, which I can only assume they are based on the directions to the public not to approach the vehicles or individuals if seen? Seems like someone made a bad call to pull the trigger on this one, to pardon the pun.

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Mandy, I am not naieve enough to believe that the Hells Angels are not already operating in Newfoundland, but they have not entrenched themselves here like in other provinces. St. John's in the last 10 years has started developing organised car theft rings and break and enter pools. You can buy coke easier on any street corner than you can a gram of weed, and prostitution is more relevant than it has ever been. With that said, based on crime statistics from other major metropolis areas across Canada, St. John's is still on the mild end of the crime scale in comparison. If something is not done, then the Hells Angels are going to move in and TAKE OVER, just like they have done in so many other cities. But hey, I will certainly try to keep up.

  • Mary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I think that people should keep their opinions to themselves until they know the full facts. I am thankful that both the RNC & RCMP have the appropriate defenses to protect both themselves and the public from the dangers that I am sure we don't know all about. Newfoundland has always been a pretty safe and enjoyable place to live, however, we are no longer escaping the prominent crimes that use to be a thing that happened in other provinces, states, and countries. The amount of drug abuse in our society today has lead to the drastic measures that those addicted will do to feed their crave. I think we need more treatment centers and options available to these people and by helping them we can deter the increase of all the drugs that are finding their way into the province.
    I support our RNC and RCMP and thankful that we have these people willing to put their lives on the line to protect us the public. Like every organization there are people who are not in that profession for the right reason but thankfully those are few and far between. Thank you RNC and RCMP for your dedication and support to our province.

  • Scotty2times
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I'm still trying to figure out how these two large pick-up trucks managed to get away?? that parking lot has two points of entry.. I understand a truck of that size whould have no problem popping a curb and fleeing that way, but wouldn't there have been other officers in other unmarked cars watching these exit points? TWO vehicals got away??? umm.. in St. John's... sooo... did they let them get away? I could have followed those trucks in my 92' civic!!

  • Duck and
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I guess the bad guys are going to need a little more than a can of bear spray these days. Or was this a case of just someone parking in the handicapped spot and the cops getting worked up when they refused to move since they felt it was reserved for them?

  • Scotty2times
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    There is one thing about this sistuation that we haven't really touched on.. and that is the fact that we probably wont be told what happend! Somewhere down the line someone in the RCMP friged up! I hope to god they find these animals!!

  • E
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Sounding Off... Maybe you should stop reading the comments if you insist on making personal digs...you obviously didn't read earlier comments because I am not the only person with the exact same opinion.

  • Average Joe III
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Joanie, unless you have some info not released to the public, how would you be able to make a judgement like that?

    Granted a discharged firearm is a very serious occurance, but when dealing with criminals, anything can happen.
    I would like to hear the whole story before I pass judgement.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I agree with Joanie...there is something wrong here:i.e. police firning guns off in a residential area when there was no emergency. We must take matters such as those under better control. There is far too much use of guns by police in this province.

  • Joanie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    From what I have read in this story it was an undercover operation that had gone sour, I really thought these were trained professionals who are there to protect our citizens. Why 4 shots and obviously 4 misses, are they trained properly? This could have certainly been alot worse, especially in a busy neighbourhood where there are alot of familes and not to mention in a big store at a busy time of day. I too had just come up on this incident as it was getting underway, thankfully there were no serious injuries - or any that had been reported anyway.
    It seems that our police force is falling apart in the seams, too many occurances and in a short period of time.

    I say RE-TRAINING is in order and more diciplinary action is needed.

  • pat
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    maybe it was a newfoundland 21 gun salute n the cops lost count

  • Ralph
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Average Joelll:
    Publish your real name for goodness sake or are you a fake?
    That is serious firing guns in public. Yes, dealing with crinminals can be a dangerous act or can turn dangerous, however, cops are supposed to be well trained on how to do just that. I agree with Joanne that better training and discipline is needed. I don't think she means to punish them but to train them better. I served in The Military and I have handled firearm for 30 plus years and have never had a misfire or an accident. accidents happen becuase of carelessness and stupidity.Where firearms are involved, there is no limit or room for mistakes whatsoever.

    as for the comment by John Greene; I totally agree with you sir about better control. That there is way too much dicharge of firearms in the city by police officers. Well said sir.

  • Amazed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    I still get amazed every time I'm reading comments about Police and Police matters. We are living in a world where sometimes action may be necessary. For one thing we don't know any information surrounding this incident. Secondly, how come we're not blaming the criminals!

  • Jason
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    I am appalled at the bleeding hearts comments in here. Some of you should give your head a shake and not condone this action. Do you think it will never affect you or your family ?

    Since the comments sections are precisely for individuals to make their personal opinions known, here is mine...

    ...given no information forwith on suspects firing at the police and no injuries reported - surely the police would make this known to garner public sentiment - I can see this being another case of the police jumping in front of a fleeing vehicle screaming 'attempted murder !' and firing at the vehicle. This police tactic should be considered attempted suicide and a stop put it. It accomplishes nothing but endanger the officer and the public should the fleeing vehicle see a gun pointed at him, because the officer just upped the ante. Since he's still walking, it wasn't attempted murder now was it ?

    Where are those police bullets now ? They probably bounced a mile down the road before embedding themselves into someone's house, car or family pet. Next time we may not be so lucky. Say NO to this dangerous practice and encourage better and safer policing.

  • Sounding
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    E from NL

    You need a holiday! Chill out or don't read thecomments

  • Critics
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I would very much doubt that this was an undercover operation that had gone sour. The likelihood that two large pick-ups would be able to flee successfully from under surveillance during high traffic in a highly congested area must be next to impossible. It's depressing to hear people constantly fault our police forces for doing their jobs. Nothing is perfect and if you think you are then please post your secret instead of your mindless and unproductive negativity.

  • Corey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    1st off, MAN, am I lucky I wasn't anywhere NEAR the area when all this went down. I do agree that it is WAY too early to speculate...but this is Newfoundland, anytime something like this happens, it's unique & everyone seeks to have their say. It does sound as if this was a botched drug bust, but that's for the RNC to investigate. It still shocks me though that, in a public setting, where there is a large amount of traffic( I'm familiar with that intersection & I'm sure others are as well, particularly those that work in the area. ), where there probably were pedestrians nearby, where there also were Canadian Tire customers coming & going, that we have gunshots ringing out right around the supper hour! It is a pretty scary feeling for those involved as well as the general public to know that something like this in entirely capable of occuring. Thankfully though, no one was seriously hurt, but now the suspects have escaped & the manhunt is on. Let's hope for the RNC's sake that they are caught real soon before they resort to more devious tactics. Someone is likely going to have to face the music as a result of what happened. Whatever the case though, things like this happen for a reason. In life, alls we can do is learn from our mistakes & carry on, so that in the future, we will learn from our past misfortunes & find a way to overcome those obstacles & make sure things can get done in the proper fashion. Hopefully, lessons are indeed learned after this.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    This is the reason why they SHOULD NOT GIVE THE COPS ANY GUNS ... People could have been hurt seriously The RCMP should have been more careful , Elizabeth Ave is one of the most busy areas in St John's next to the park way and water street. Even at that time of night . I can remember when the RNC had there guns in there locked away in tthe trunks of there cars and that to call in in order to get the use of there guns and that was back in the early 80's and early 90's ,if it happens again the maybe it should be time for the guns to go back in the trunk of there cars...

  • Clyde
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Cops don't use there firearms unless they really have too. If the suspects pulled a gun on them first then they have to protect themselves. Get use to this, because as the oil money rolls in, so do the drugs and the drug dealers!

  • Malph Rarshal
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    If the suspects were considered dangerous to the public, the police would have said so already. Otherwise, the police would be responsible for dangerous suspects roaming the streets and not warning the public, which is irreprehensible.

    I find it amusing at how many people believe the police are infallible and that their training makes them so good at what they do. It seems these same people have short memories. Also, most police couldn't spell 'g-u-n' before they entered the force. They are given basic training and have basic re-training on firearms at certain intervals, but very few of them are really that proficient with firearms. It seems, from this article, some of them are not very proficient at making sound judgments either.

    Ralph Marshall is that YOUR real name ? Where's the proof ? Everyone has an opinion and Joanie's is not that unreasonable. Julia has excellent points and for the RNC not to be aware of RCMP operations in the city shows how badly managed the two police forces are. But again, I think we already know that given the events of the past year here in St. John's and events across Canada. RCMP top dog William Elliott is having a heck of a hard time trying to restore the RCMP's image not only across Canada, but across Europe (read Poland) as well. Recently an ex-RCMP was caught distributing child porn in Gander just to mention the latest. What shame.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Four gunshots - perhaps the criminals fired three.

  • Be Informed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I can't believe that some people would just jump to the conclusion that it wasn't necessary to shoot a gun in this situation when they weren't even there and have no idea about the circumstances.

    What if the drivers of the vehicle had a gun as well? What if they were the danger to the public and the RCMP were there to protect you? What if the driver was the one who shot a gun and hurt someone? You would be the first to criticize the police for not protecting you.

    Unless you are in the situation, a trained professional, or know all the facts, keep your unintelligent judgments to yourself.

  • Angela
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I am amazed at how many people make such harsh judgements and criticize the intelligence and training of the police without even KNOWING WHAT HAPPENED!

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I just hope this is about something more serious than some pot. If these guys put our lives in danger over something like a pot bust, well somebody needs to do a review. 5pm with kids around, shooting the place up. Is this the proper way to conduct an investigation? They could have let them go and followed. They got away anyway, and people were put in grave danger. I could understand if this was a bank robbery or a holdup of some kind, but an undercover op, I mean come on.

  • Cindi
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I've read through most of these comments and I can hardly believe what some people are saying. I didn't hear people complain when the undercover operation razorback lead to arrests, and seizure of drugs and money! RCMP officers don't go out randomly shooting off their guns in busy parking lots, obviously there was reason to believe that the public and the officers were at risk.I suspect these people who think that this requires disciplinary action have no understanding of undercover work in relation to drug busts and the danger that it imposes on the officers involved and the public. I'm always amazed at how quick people are to criticize without even knowing the facts! It truely is amazing how ignorant people can be, they sit back and bash the police forces when they are protecting our kids from the evil drug dealers who help ruin their lives. Wise up people!

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    When the sound of a gun goes off people run. Most run away as fast as they can, the police run towards the fight. They make split second decisions with minimal information and a heart rate through the roof. They fight so you don't have to. Sadly, after the smoke clears they face critism based on scanty media reports. These officers faced a tramautic situation and they deserve the public's support, afterall they were in that situation to protect us. Keep fighting the good fight boys

  • Denise
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I think the cop who discharged his gun in the parking lot has a lot of explaining to do. I don't care if he fired one shot or 50, while he missed his target he could have injured or killed someone. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

  • amazed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    It's always interesting that people like Joanie, with minimal information about the above incident, and who are not a cop, decide this is all the cop's fault and retraining is in order. It was also the RCMP involved btw.
    I would be more concerned that the police felt the need to fire their gun because of the situation they were in.
    As for 4 shots and 4 misses, have you ever fired a gun Joanie? Would you be happy if someone was shot? Have you seen the training police go through? Have you ever been in the situation in which you felt it was necessary to shoot at another person?
    Get informed.

  • Crushing
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    When all this gets looked at and straightened out, we'll all find out who did what, and why!! Bets are the druggies probably pulled a gun......my guess....

  • Isabelle
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Many questions un-answered. Did the criminals shoot first, who shot and why?
    This is a very changing city and the news we hear is changing each day. This topic would not even make the news else where in the world. Please do not judge and accuse before we get all the story and the answers. I certainly would not feel safe if our officers did not carry a fire arms. You do not know who is armed today or not. There was a time to a person who skipped you in line or something very small and trival but today I feel very cautious in picking my battles. Hell you do not know what could or would come of it. I'm not related in any way to any of the RNC and I would not want their responsiblity and risks each day.

  • Mandy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Calvin, just so you're aware, the Hell's Angels are already here and operating several businesses in our city, INcluding one business that has been here for a very long time that they bought out several years ago. Try to keep up.


    People seem to be very anti-police. Why? I don't understand. Everyone seems to believe that cops are awful and that they are stupid and all this other stuff. While I am positive some of them are stupid (because some people in any profession are going to be stupid) you can;t generalize all cops like that. Some of them are extremely brave good people who are trying to keep Newfoundland a low crime area. Why can't people see that?

    And while it seems excessive to fire your weapon four times, and miss four times, we don't know why he fired his weapon yet. Maybe one of the suspects came at him with a knife. Everyone keeps ssaying 'well the suspects didn't shot a gun'..why does it have to be a gun?

    I know that if someone came at me with a knife, and I had a gun, I would definitely defend myself..and those of you who say you wouldn't..are lying. It's that simple. Until you have been put in a situation where your life is being threatened, you don't have any idea what it's like.

  • Todd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    To Calvin:

    Do you think Hells Angels are worried about the police here in NL? Guess what, there are police organizations in Quebec, Ontario, USA and wherever else the HA operate. If they want to come here they will be here (if they aren't already).

    That being said, there are bad people in this City who have no respect for the law or authority. The police aren't given enough power when dealing with these types in my opinion!

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    From reading the breif article about the update to come later today it seems the RCMP really screwed up. A plainsclothes RCMP officer opened fire on suspects being arrested by other RCMP. The suspects are now at large. Wow.

  • Townie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Average joe and amazed that is why you want to live in a police state and the rest of us would like to live in peace.

  • D'Arcy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    IMHO, something that has not been considered in this matter, is the reason for the escalation of violence, namely the prohibition of drugs. Through the alcohol prohibition era, violence was on the upswing, as gangsters did all they could to a)provide people with the substances that they wanted and would find some way of getting and b) protecting the extravagant profits the made as a result. Through a repulsion of the alcohol prohibition laws, police saw an immediate reduction of the amount of violent crime as there was no longer a profit motive for the criminals.

    Going after the criminals will do little or nothing in curbing appetites for illegal substances and often drives up the escalation of violence as gangs compete to control the market. Take out as many criminals as you want, you will do nothing to satisfy the urge. Changing the way we deal with the problem and attempting to determine why people want the drugs in the first place would be far more successful at reducing violence and the inherent costs to society.

    Anyone who wants to understand this more should do a little research on Portugal, who decriminalized ALL drug possession. Over 7 years they went from having the highest usage rate in the EU to the lowest rate.

  • Too
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    What is wrong with everyone today??? There's too many drugs on these streets and kudos to the police force for trying to nab these sick people in society, using guns or no guns...I'd say do whatever they please if they can get these people arrested. I guess some people havent had their homes broken into by these savage thieves to know how bad this problem has gotten in St Johns.

  • Wince
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    You sure they weren't filming a Republic of Doyle episode?

  • missis
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I am glad that so many people disagree with Joanie! Everytime something happens everyone blames the police force but when they do something great no one thanks them...

  • expat
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Wow. Judging from all the experts posting here it seems there must have been a lot of eyewitnesses who know exactly what happened.

    First of all, the idea of a police force without guns is ludicrous. St. John's has always had crime, drugs, prostitution and gangs. How are the police supposed to keep you all safe and defend themselves?

    Second, I can't image any officer would have fired in a situation that would put an innocent bystander at risk. If it was the police who fired rest assured there was very good reason.

    Instead of all this anger directed at the police why not place the blame where it belongs, on the criminals? If there weren't a market for drugs and prostitutes these low-lifes wouldn't be in business. Blame them, and the people who they sell too. They are the ones putting lives at risk, not hte police who are doing their best to fight the problem.

  • E
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I don't think it is right for anyone to pass judgment until all the facts are known...

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Yeah, lets make sure Cops arent allowed to carry weapons. Then when the Hells Angels move in from Quebec to take over our fair province, they will have no way to defend themselves or us against these criminals. If it was a drug bust, as everyone apparently knows it was, then dont you think maybe the criminals may have had a gun too. I hope the first person to get shot in an altercation like this is shot by one of these low life scum, then maybe people will realise the police are there for our protection. I'm not saying the RNC and RCMP officers are all perfect, but people are way to quick to jump to conclusions about the police based on stories about cops they see on TV. Maybe the officers in our rpovince do need to be re-trained, but the training they need is how to properly deal with the new level of criminal that is starting to invade Newfoundland. Things are getting worse every day, St. John's will gain more and more similarities to big city crime, and the police will end up shooting someone. I only hope they shoot a criminal and send a message saying they are not a bucnh of pushovers before it is too late to salvage our layed back way of life.

  • Julia
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I too believe this was yet another drug bust as the RNC said operation Razorback was just the beginning.

    And I know it was an undercover operation and that is why the RNC responded to gun shots and had NO IDEA it was another officer, however, I thought they had realised that working together and sharing information was more appropriate.. also, the suspects didn't fire any weapon so I do think the RCMP was more than likely out of line.

    AS everyone has said, that is a busy area of town, at a busy time of day.. unless the police were fired on I cannot see any justified reason why they used their weapons.

    You have to look at it.. was an arrest worth the loss of innocent lives?

  • jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    It is so easy to sit back and criticize our police force from your comfy computer. I think they are doing a stellar job of protecting our city....a city that is becoming more dangerous and violent each day. Why don't you join the force if you think you could do a better job? They are aggressively recruiting. Did any of you write in and congratulate them on the string of drug busts that took place over the past year, which probably prevented your kids from becoming future junkies? Probably not. The city is growing, get used to it. And you should thank your lucky stars that these people are brave enough to protect your sorry asses.