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A real estate billboard of slain Anastasia Kuzyk along Highway 60 in Wilno, Ont., in 2015.Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

As soon as she heard Anastasia Kuzyk’s address read out over her police radio on the morning of Sept. 22, 2015, OPP Detective Constable Stacey Solman just knew.

“I didn’t need anybody to tell me. As soon as I heard the address, I knew I was going to Anastasia’s, and it wasn’t good,” she told the jury Wednesday at an inquest into the femicides of Ms. Kuzyk and two other women.

A sister of Ms. Kuzyk had called 911 at 8:52 a.m., reporting that a man had come to their home with a gun. She had run away, but heard a gunshot. Her sister had “put him in jail,” she told the dispatcher of the shooter.

As a crime-unit investigator for Renfrew County, Det. Constable Solman did not normally respond to front-line emergency calls. But she knew Ms. Kuzyk and she knew who’d shown up to shoot her.

Basil Borutski had a long history of intimate partner violence against Ms. Kuzyk and others. He had multiple flags on his police file and multiple risk assessments had deemed him high risk.

Police communication was a focus Wednesday at the inquest into the triple-femicide case, as four senior OPP officers provided testimony about their roles after the murders – and the challenges of responding to high-risk incidents in a rural community. The goal of the inquest is to come up with recommendations to prevent future such deaths.

Mr. Borutski was convicted in 2017 of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 70 years.

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As Det. Constable Solman sped toward Ms. Kuzyk’s house in Wilno, Ont., that morning, she mentally prepared herself for a confrontation: “To be quite frank, I believed he was coming out [in a] suicide by cop, and I was going into a gunfight.”

But by the time she and other officers arrived at Ms. Kuzyk’s house at 9 a.m., Mr. Borutski was already on route to the home of his next victim, Nathalie Warmerdam.

Her son would call 911 20 minutes later, from the woods behind their Eganville, Ont.-area log cabin, where he hid after hearing a gunshot. A third call would come in at 11:09 a.m., from a real estate agent who discovered the body of Carol Culleton – the first victim that morning – at her cottage near Combermere, Ont.

Superintendent Derek Needham, the OPP’s critical incident commander that day, was asked about information gaps in their response plan that morning.

For example, unlike Det. Constable Solman, he did not know who the perpetrator was, or about the history of intimate partner violence, until after the 911 call about the second shooting came in. But he insisted that information would not have changed his initial response – that they thought the shooter was still in the house in Wilno and they were zoomed in on containing that scene.

“I don’t think it would’ve changed anything, at least at that moment … knowing she said ‘she put him in jail’ ” he said.

The jury heard about some of the hurdles that officers experienced during the chaos, such as police radios that were glitchy in the rural area and long waits for some specialized resources, located more than an hour away. They put out media alerts, ordered school lockdowns and drafted a list of other potential targets to contact.

Today, Supt. Needham said, they would have the benefit of the “Ready Alert” system, which could send out Amber Alert-style messages to mobile phones across the entire region.

After an officer tracked down a cellphone number for Mr. Borutski and asked the cellular provider to track its location, they confirmed that he was on the move. He was ultimately arrested just after 2 p.m. in a field near a relative’s property in Kinburn, Ont.

Beyond the day of the murders, the officers also spoke about communication challenges with other agencies. For example, Det. Constable Solman said there were mental-health calls made by Mr. Borutski that they were not made aware of. And while she had interacted personally with Ms. Warmerdam and Ms. Kuzyk after they were victimized by Mr. Borutski previously, she did not know Ms. Culleton.

“We weren’t even aware of her at all,” she said. Had she known that he’d been hanging around her cottage, she would’ve been concerned. “I would’ve attended. I would’ve gone to Carol’s cottage.”

The inquest will continue Thursday.

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