Justin Bourque’s father says his son was gripped by "paranoia" in the days before he allegedly killed three RCMP officers and wounded two others in a shooting spree in a Moncton neighbourhood last month.
Victor Bourque described his son’s deteriorating behaviour in an affidavit filed with the provincial court in Moncton on Thursday.
The affidavit was in support of a request by defence lawyer David Lutz to have Justin Bourque undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Victor Bourque described how he did not see any serious mental or emotional issues with his son until about 18 months earlier. In December 2012, Bourque said, he and his wife asked their son to leave their house, where Justin had lived with his parents and six siblings.
Bourque said he watched his son enter what he described as a "serious depression, emotional and financial instability" that continued to worsen.
The month before the shooting, Bourque said his son’s emotional and mental state began "deteriorating even further."
Justin Bourque, 24, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the June 4 shootings.
He 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 made a court appearance on Thursday. He was shaggy-haired and bearded, and wearing grey sweatpants and a grey T-shirt,.
The judge who approved the defence lawyer’s request for a psychiatric assessment believed the threshold for the order was met, based on what he read in Victor Bourque’s affidavit.
The assessment will be conducted at the Shepody Healing Centre in Dorchester. The accused will return to court on July 31.
Victor Bourque’s affidavit cited two recent examples of paranoia and odd behaviour that he witnessed from his son.
“Approximately two days before the incident, I was unable to calm Justin down while driving him to work. He was ranting and raging against all authority and concerning himself with matters which were well beyond his control and some issues not even relating to Canada. This behaviour I can only describe as paranoia,” Bourque’s affidavit said.
At 5 p.m. on the day of the shooting, Bourque said he met his son, who said he was heading to work. Bourque said he received a call from his son’s employer, later saying he didn’t show up for work and that’s when Bourque called his son back.
"I called him to ask why he lied to me — he was distant and disrespectful to me on the telephone. He hung up on me," Bourque said.
"He had never spoken to me in this fashion before. His tone was very dry and as if it was another person speaking."