Two days before Justin Bourque went on a shooting rampage, killing three Moncton Mounties and wounding two others, he told his father he had "had enough of the authorities," court documents ordered released by a New Brunswick judge reveal.
On June 2, Bourque told his father he was "tired of being oppressed," according to a psychiatric assessment report that was among documents made public on Friday.
He said he would hide in the woods and police would not catch him.
"They better not try to stop me, I am armed," Bourque said.
His father, who had kicked him out of the family home in 2012 because he persisted in bringing home guns after being warned not to, told him people who think like that are in jail.
"He said he would defend himself and would not want to submit himself to authority," the report states.
"Justin even claimed that he was going through with his plan and they shouldn't try to stop him. He said, 'I will never go to prison and I will not surrender.'"
The report says his father did not think he would go that far.
Father called 911
On June 4, at 9:40 p.m., Bourque's father called 911.
"I'm the father of the gunman," said Victor Bourque.
Asked by the dispatcher why he thought his son was the gunman, he replied, "Well I don't know. That's what I heard. Somebody just said that's who it was."
He said his son was quite upset earlier that day.
"He’s having a hard time. He’s got anger issues and you know, he’s angry at the cops because of certain things and I thought, ‘Oh no.’ And he owns weapons too.… He usually goes hunting with them. I don’t know if he’d do that, but I’m just saying."
Moments later, while still on the line, the father positively identified his son as being the gunman. "Yeah, that's him. That's him," he said after seeing a photo of his heavily armed son wearing camouflage gear in a local media report.
Justin Bourque was arrested following a two-day manhunt that involved hundreds of police officers from across the country and saw much of the southeastern New Brunswick city in lockdown.
Bourque, who recently turned 25, was sentenced in October to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
It is the longest sentence without parole eligibility in Canadian history.
New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice David Smith had ordered a 28-day psychiatric assessment of Bourque, who was found fit to stand trial.
The six-page report was produced by Dr. Moses Alatishe, the consultant psychiatrist at the Shepody Healing Centre in Dorchester.
The Crown and defence had applied to have evidence presented during Bourque's sentencing hearing sealed, including the psych report, Bourque's videotaped statement to police, audio of police transmissions and 911 calls, and photographs of Bourque's trailer home.
Several media outlets, including the CBC and The Canadian Press, sought to have 19 exhibits released, arguing they were important in helping the public understand the court's decision and maintaining public confidence in the judicial system.
'I want everyone to be my friend'
Although Bourque came across as cold and detached in his police interview when he said he "felt pretty accomplished" after the shootings, the psych report offers a different view.
Bourque told Alatishe at their first meeting that he planned to plead guilty and that he regretted his actions. "There is no day I don't think that I ruined many lives," he said in July, during the first of their six meetings.
The report is also based on Bourque's session with a psychologist, as well as interviews a clinical social worker did with his parents and roommate.
Bourque described himself as being a generous person, energetic, adventurous, outspoken, scatterbrained and absent-minded at times, according to Alatishe's report.
"I want everyone to be my friend," he is quoted as saying. The report says he believes people took advantage of him.
The doctor wrote that Bourque was in emotional turmoil, disillusioned and confused from sleep deprivation and possible marijuana withdrawal on June 4 when he left his trailer home dressed in camouflage.
"I knew I was not coming back to the trailer alive," he told the psychiatrist.
'Soldier of Christ' rejected by military
Bourque, the third oldest of seven siblings, was home schooled in what he called a "religious fanatic" environment and grew up believing he was a "soldier of Christ," the report states.
"I wanted a normal life," he said.
By the time he was 10, Bourque's hero was a video game character named Mega Man X. "This character helped shape who I will become and my view on war and violence," he said
Bourque spent a lot of time alone playing video games and when he was 14, he built his first plastic models of tanks and other military vehicles.
At 15, he says he became "gun crazy." An older friend taught him to shoot and introduced him to the CA SKS type 56 rifle, which he compared to an AK-47.
Firearms were a major interest. "He became quite an expert in using and repairing them, which he did for his friends," the report states.
"At one point, he wanted to be a gunsmith."
When he was 16, Bourque stopped going to mass and watched the Tour of Duty, Combat series "on a regular basis."
He applied to the military, but was rejected because he did not have a high school diploma, he said.
Bourque said 2007 was his "big year." That's when he said he discovered bands that "changed my life" — Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Megadeth.
He applied to the military for a second time when he was 18, but was turned away again.
"He said this was quite upsetting for him, but he got over it," the report says, noting he got his diploma when he was 19.
He was "getting drunk regularly and smoking pot heavily," according to the report.
Between 2011 and 2013, Bourque said his "morale got into a roller-coaster."
The RCMP officers he killed were:
- Const. Douglas James Larche, 40, from Saint John.
- Const. Dave Joseph Ross, 32, from Victoriaville, Que.
- Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, originally from Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
The officers he wounded were:
- Const. Éric Stéphane J. Dubois.
- Const. Marie Darlene Goguen.