Bullet path analyst takes the stand at fatality inquiry
Investigators sort through evidence at the Roszko farm near Mayerthorpe, Alta., Saturday, March 5, 2005. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A bullet path analyst took the stand Wednesday morning at a fatality inquiry looking into what led to the deaths of four constables on March 3rd, 2005.
Constables Anthony Gordon, Leo Johnston, Brock Myrol and Peter Schiemann were killed by James Roszko on a farm property near Mayerthorpe, before the gunman turned the weapon on himself.
The court got a glimpse of a 3-D model Darryl Barr created of the gunman's Quonset. He traced 16 bullet trajectories that depicted where the bullets originated from, and where they ended up.
Barr was called to the scene on March 8, 2005. He testified that he spent three days there examining entry points to determine the path a bullet travelled.
And it appears Roszko was positioned in the southeast corner of the Quonset as the four officers entered.
Barr detailed the gunman hid behind a vat near the door where the four constables were killed, but didn't starting firing his weapon until the officers were well inside.
The court also heard how Roszko shot himself in the chest.
Wednesday's testimony also revealed more about Roszko's history with police dating back decades, which included a number of sexual assault allegations and how he was a suspect in a murder case in 1976.
The court heard how Roszko had lodged more than a dozen complaints against police.
RCMP defended the decision to leave two officers at Roszko's Quonset overnight.
"This individual didn't confront police, that was his history, that was his background. Making a complaint is a form of intimidation or bullying if you want to but it wasn't a face-to-face confrontation," said Supt. Brian Simpson.
Such information would have been limited to an investigator when the shootings occurred in 2005.
During Tuesday's testimony retired civilian RCMP firearms expert Bruce Gunn told the court it appears Const. Johnston was laying down when he fired a shot at Roszko. He also said Johnston's gun jammed and was unable to fire again.
The court also heard the one shot fired by Johnston hit a gun Roszko had in his waistband.
It was revealed that Roszko had not been injured at that point. Roszko fired on Johnston four more times in total more than any of the other officers.
It was also noted that after Johnston fired at Roszko, the cartridge case did not eject from is gun. It's not known why that happened. The gun was tested following the incident without any problems.
Another officer testified that seven out of eight firearms in Roszko's possession were not registered. The deadly H&K assault rifle Roszko used on the officers was prohibited.
The inquiry continues Thursday.
With files from David Ewasuk and the Canadian Press