Moncton shooting murder plea brings some relief to police

The murder plea brings some relief, but a friend of slain RCMP Const. Doug Larche is still struggling with his grief.

Police friend of slain Mountie Doug Larche still mourns every day

A portrait of Const. Doug Larche is displayed at Wesleyan Celebration Centre during the public visitation in Moncton in June. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The murder plea brings some relief, but a friend of slain RCMP Const. Doug Larche is still struggling with his grief.

Larche was one of three RCMP officers gunned down in Moncton on June 4. 

On Friday, Justin Bourque, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder for injuring two other officers.

It means there won't be a trial.

"I'm glad that the families of those three police officers don't have to wait for trial," Don Shannon, a high school friend of Larche, told the CBC's As It Happens.

Shannon is a constable with the Saint John Police department. He went to St. Malachy’s High School in Saint John with Larche in the early 1990s.

He remembers Larche as a funny and easygoing person.

Shannon has felt a range of emotions since the shootings. He says Bourque's guilty pleas don't help him deal with his grief.

There is one positive note, however.

"The sooner I don't have to hear his name anymore, the happier I'll be," Shannon said.

No trial, no answers

A trial might have helped to understand why Bourque shot at five officers.

Shannon said he's not looking for answers.

"In this case, I'm struggling to even want to know why," he said, struggling for words, "but it's not going to change anything for me."

Bourque admits he planned the attack and targeted the Mounties because he knew they were police officers, the Telegraph Journal reported.

The newspaper obtained an agreed statement of facts that was submitted to the court on Friday.

In the document, initialled by Bourque, he also admits he shot all five officers with a Poly Technologies model M305 .308-calibre semi automatic rifle between 7:18 p.m. and 8:13 p.m, the newspaper said.

Shannon said there's a heightened sense of awareness among police since the shootings. They try to be "more tactical" and aware of what's around them.

"I think police officers by nature can be wary of people. But at the end of the day, you've got to expect there's more good in the world than there is bad, or you wouldn't be doing this," he said.

Thursday night he stopped at a red light. A man in the car next to him gestured, so he rolled down his window.

Shannon said the man simply wanted to tell him he was doing a good job.

"And that happened to me the day before too. A man stopped me on the street," he said.

Shannon said his first thought was of Larche.

"I thought about Doug and I thought about his family and I thought about those other two RCMP officers and their families — every day since I marched in his funeral."

Larche will be remembered at Sunday's Marathon by the Sea, a race he used to run. The first mile will be dubbed the Red Mile.

The other two slain officers were Const. Dave Joseph Ross, 32, from Victoriaville, Que.​ and Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, originally from Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

Const. Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Const. Marie Darlene Goguen were wounded.