“None of the casualties shot by soldiers of Support Company was armed with a firearm or (with the probable exception of Gerald Donaghey) a bomb of any description. None was posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. In no case was any warning given before soldiers opened fire,” the report said.
The Guardian also points out
Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford did not comply with Brigadier MacLellan’s order to tackle rioters by sending one group of troops into William Street “but not to conduct a running battle down Rossville Street”. Instead, Wilford sent additional soldiers into Bogside. “The effect was that soldiers of Support Company did chase people down Rossville Street,” said Saville. “Some of those people had been rioting but many were peaceful marchers. There was thus no separation between peaceful marchers and those who had been rioting and no means whereby soldiers could identify and arrest only the latter.”
The report said that republican paramilitaries had been responsible for “some firing” but the scale had been exaggerated by British soldiers and “none of this firing provided any justification for the shooting of the civilian casualties”.
Saville rejected the contention that the state had authorised the troops to use “unwarranted lethal force” or sanctioned them “with reckless disregard as to whether such force was used”.