July 23 (UPI) -- Government leaders on Thursday appointed a three-member panel to investigate Canada's deadliest shooting attack in history, which killed nearly two dozen people in Nova Scotia last spring.
The independent panel, led by Nova Scotia's former top judge, will look at the circumstances surrounding the attack and the police response.
Authorities announced the investigating panel on Thursday.The attack began April 18 in Portapique, where police say Gabriel Wortman killed 13 people and injured two before moving on to shoot nine others dead elsewhere the eastern Canadian province. He was ultimately confronted and killed by a police officer.
Michael MacDonald, Nova Scotia's former chief justice, will lead the panel that also includes former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and former Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch.
The announcement comes after months of relatives demanding a full-scale public inquiry into the attack.
Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey said he considered a public inquiry, but decided on the committee because he said it provides the "most timely opportunity" for answers.
"I know the victims' families and survivors continue to experience a level of trauma and grief that most of us cannot imagine," Furey said in a statement. "We have heard the calls for an independent and impartial review into why and how this happened, and for timely recommendations that will make our communities safer. This joint review will achieve these outcomes."
The investigative panel will produce an interim and final public report into the shooting.