’I’m done,’ says suspect in Moncton RCMP shooting

The Canadian Press
Published on June 6, 2014
20140606

Published on 06 June 2014

An RCMP officer rests his head at a roadblock in Moncton, N.B. on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

Photos by Canadian Press photo by Andrew Vaughan

Moncton shooting 9

Published on 05 June 2014

Crowds gather by area of boarding house were RCMP ERT team is preparing to enter.

Photos by TC Media photo by Christopher Gooding

RCMP

Published on 05 June 2014

An RCMP officer stands guard at the St. George overpass in Moncton. Vehicles are being checked for possible unwanted passengers.<br /><br />

Photos by TC Media photo by Christopher Gooding

Audrey Vaughan

Published on 05 June 2014

<span>Former Yarmouth County resident Audrey Vaughan looks out of a window of her Moncton home on Thursday morning, June 5, as her family, like so many others, were on lockdown as an RCMP manhunt for a shooting suspect went on.</span>

Photos by

20140604 Moncton shooting

Published on 05 June 2014

&nbsp;An unmarked police vehicle sits on Mailhot Avenue with the window shot out in Moncton, N.B. on Wednesday June 4, 2014.

Photos by Moncton Times & Transcript-Ron Ward

20140604 Moncton shooting

Published on 05 June 2014

RCMP officer Damien Theriault holds back tears while addressing the media during a press conference at City Hall in Moncton, N.B., on Wednesday June 4, 2014.

Photos by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison

20140604 Moncton shooting

Published on 05 June 2014

Mayor George LeBlanc addresses the media during a late press conference at City Hall in Moncton, N.B. on Wednesday June 4, 2014.

Photos by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison

20140604 Moncton shooting

Published on 05 June 2014

RCMP officer Damien Theriault and Mayor George LeBlanc pause to collect themselves before addressing the media during a late press conference at City Hall in Moncton, N.B.on Wednesday June 4, 2014.

Photos by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison

20140604 Moncton shooting

Published on 05 June 2014

A car sits on a road with it's windows shot out and blood on the ground in Moncton, N.B. on Wednesday June 4, 2014.

Photos by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Daniel Stevens

20140604 Moncton manhunt

Published on 05 June 2014

RCMP officer Damien Theriault, left, and Mayor George LeBlanc hug after addressing the media during a late press conference at City Hall in Moncton, N.B.on Wednesday.

Photos by Canadian Press photo

Moncton shooting 5

Published on 04 June 2014

Police officers take cover behind their vehicles in Moncton, N.B. on Wednesday June 3, 2014. The RCMP says three of its officers were killed in Moncton, N.B., by a man armed with guns and two other officers were injured as the Mounties conducted a manhunt across the city's north end on Wednesday night for the shooter.

Photos by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Moncton Times & Transcript-Ron Ward

Moncton shooting 4

Published on 04 June 2014

Police officers walk around a strip mall urging merchants to shutdown their stores in Moncton, N.B.on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick says an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns

Photos by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison

Moncton shooting 2

Published on 04 June 2014

Jodi Cooke on twitter posted this photo of police cruiser with window shot out.

Photos by Twitter

MONCTON, N.B. — A nerve-wracking manhunt came to an end early Friday morning after police apprehended the suspect wanted in one of the worst mass shootings in the RCMP’s history that left three Mounties dead and two others wounded in Moncton, N.B.

Justin Bourque was arrested at around 12:10 a.m., RCMP spokesman Paul Greene said, bringing to a close a harrowing search that lasted nearly 30 hours.

Michelle Thibodeau said she saw members of a tactical unit arrest the Moncton man in the frontyard of her home.

“They started yelling, ’Come out with your hands up!’ and they had their guns loaded,” said Thibodeau, 21.

“About five minutes later, Justin surrendered himself and he said, ’I’m done,’ and then they arrested him and brought him to my frontyard where they had him sprawled on the ground.”

She said the experience was scary.

“I’m still shaking,” she said. “My heart dropped to my stomach and I felt quite sick actually. It was a moment I’ll never forget.”

Linda Peacock, who lives a few doors down from where the arrest was made, said she was relieved the suspect had been apprehended.

“It’s very upsetting to know that he was so close to my home,” Peacock said. “I’m very glad they got him.”

Bourque, 24, was the subject of an exhaustive manhunt after the shootings Wednesday evening in the northwest area of the city.

Moncton, a city of about 69,000, had been at a virtual standstill up until the arrest, with buses pulled off the roads, government buildings shut down and schools closed as the RCMP scoured the streets for a heavily armed man.

Residents in a cordoned off area were told to stay inside their homes, lock their doors and turn on their exterior lights in an effort to aid the search.

But shortly after Bourque’s arrest, people were allowed outside their houses and roads that had been blockaded for more than a day were reopened, Greene said.

Colin Slaunwhite, 24, said his mother was frantic because he had not been able to return home until Friday morning after playing hockey Wednesday.

“Relief. A whole bag full of emotions,” Slaunwhite said after he learned he could return home.

“It is going to take a while for the adrenalin to completely run out and everybody tries to comprehend what happened.”

Police including tactical officers began their manhunt Wednesday at around 7:30 p.m. when they responded to a call about a man walking along a road with what was believed to be a gun.

After the call, shots were fired and officers called for backup.

The RCMP said police officers from across the country were brought in to help arrest the suspect.

At one point, Bourque was seen Thursday morning but officers were unable to arrest him after he went into a wooded area, the RCMP said.

Assistant Commissioner Roger Brown, the commanding officer of the Mounties in New Brunswick, said Thursday likened the search to “working through your worst nightmare.”

The RCMP said Thursday that of the two wounded officers, one was released from hospital and the other had injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The identities of the officers who were shot have not been released by police.

But late Thursday, the National Post identified one of the officers fatally shot as Const. Dave Ross, a police services dog handler with the RCMP. The newspaper quoted the sister-in-law of the man’s wife as saying he had a young son, with another child expected in September.

People laid flowers in a makeshift memorial on the doorsteps of the local Codiac RCMP detachment. One of the bouquets was wrapped in a ribbon reading, “Fallen heroes.”

The RCMP have scheduled a news conference for Friday at 8 a.m.

Cpl. Danny Falls said while RCMP members were pleased to bring a measure of relief to residents, the force was contending with mixed emotions.

“There obviously have been long days and we suffered significant loss,” Falls said Friday morning. “It will take some time to heal from that.”

Bourque was not known to police and investigators were trying to piece together his background.

He was wearing military camouflage and carrying two rifles in a picture of him released by police on Twitter on Wednesday night.

The deadly shootings struck a nerve not only in Moncton, but throughout the country, where flags were flown at half-mast, including the flag at the Peace Tower in Ottawa. MPs also observed a moment of silence in the House of Commons.

The shootings also evoked memories of an RCMP tragedy in Mayerthorpe, Alta., nine years ago when Constables Anthony Fitzgerald Orion Gordon, Lionide (Leo) Nicholas Johnston, Brock Warren Myrol and Peter Christopher Schiemann were shot and killed.