CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - What does one say to help comfort so many devasted by the horrific shooting in Fredericton, N.B., Friday that killed four people?
The struggle in putting pen to paper is clear after reading the entries in a book of condolences available for signing at the reception desk of City Hall at 199 Queen St. in Charlottetown.
A retired police officer simply wrote ‘R.I.P.’
Donald Benson noted only that he had “no words’’ in response to the shooting in New Brunswick’s capital that claimed the lives of police officers Robb Costello and Sara Burns, as well as Bobbie Lee Wright and her boyfriend, Donnie Robichaud.
Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shootings that have rattled the New Brunswick city. RCMP are continuing their homicide investigation and external officers have been called in to help provide shift relief for Fredericton police.
There has been an outpouring of grief in the small city, with residents stopping by police headquarters to drop off flowers, notes and teddy bears for the fallen officers.
The City of Charlottetown has extended its deepest condolences to Fredericton’s residents and police services.
“We would like the City of Fredericton to know that they are in our thoughts,’’ said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.
“On behalf of the residents of the City of Charlottetown I have reached out to Mayor (Mike) O’Brien offering up any assistance they may require.’’
Charlottetown Police Chief Paul Smith added the shock of what is going on in Fredericton is being felt by everyone.
“We want Fredericton to know we are standing behind them,’’ he said in a statement.
“We will assist them in any way we can.’’
Scott MacDonald wrote in the book of condolences his thoughts and prayers go out to the families and colleagues of the slain.
“To the Fredericton Police,’’ he added, “Stay Safe, Stay Strong.’’
Charlottetown CAO Peter Kelly also extended thoughtful words in the book, which will be available for signing until 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20.
“Remember you are not alone,’’ Kelly wrote.
“We are all here for the citizens of Fredericton. May the outpouring of love and support bring you comfort.’’