Double-murder suicide gunman had AK-47, body armour
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says that Brian Dawe was wearing body armour and had an AK-47 assault rifle when he used a handgun to shoot two people dead in Conception Bay South earlier this week before he killed himself.
In a statement Friday afternoon, the RNC said Dawe also had hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a 9-mm handgun on him when they found his body at a cemetery in Mount Pearl.
According to the RNC, Dawe was in possession of the firearms legally, but the ammunition clips were above the lawful capacity.
Police were seen removing one box after another from Dawe's Conception Bay South home on Wednesday, not long after his body was found at a cemetery in nearby Mount Pearl.
Police have not released the exact number of firearms removed from his home.
Police allege that on Tuesday night, Dawe shot Juliane Hibbs to death inside a medical clinic in the Villa Nova Plaza and then killed her boyfriend, Vince Dillon, who had been waiting in the parking lot.
Hibbs, 35, had ended her relationship with Dawe, 43, several years ago.
People who knew her said the two had had a troubled relationship, which started when Hibbs was still a teenager, and that Hibbs's family was worried about her safety even after they had broken up.
However, Apryl Stead, one of Hibbs's friends, said Hibbs had moved on, and that any strains were not obvious to her.
"She was excited for life, and I know that she wanted a baby, and I know that she was trying for that," Stead said.
"All I could think was she was such a wonderful person. Why would anyone do this to her?"
Suzanne Fitzgerald, RNC's domestic violence co-ordinator, said the murder-suicide in C.B.S. is yet another example of extreme domestic violence but that there are many other types of domestic abuse that go unnoticed.
"I think it's important for people to realize that it's not just the emotional and psychological and physical [abuse], there's sexual, there's financial, there's also isolation," she said.
"Intimate terrorism is essentially what it comes down to."
According to Fitzgerald, in order to prevent similar tragedies, people must change how they think about domestic violence.
"There needs to be a shift in the paradigm of how we think as a society," she said. "Years ago, impaired driving used to be not only tolerated, it was accepted, but we really need to change the perception that this is not a personal, private matter — it's a public safety issue."
Only approximately 10 per cent of domestic abuse victims come forward to police, Fitzgerald said, and in 85 per cent of cases, someone close to the victim knows the abuse is happening but doesn't report it to the authorities.
Marilyn Crotty, who lived near Dawe's home in Conception Bay South, told CBC News that he was not a model neighbour.
"We were really concerned because we were thinking for a long time, 'There's a lot of suspicious activity down there,'" she said.
Meanwhile, a source close to Dillon, 45, described him as an easygoing man who loved those near him, and that he loved his pet dog, Hayley. The dog escaped from Dillon's car on Tuesday night during the shooting, and friends are now looking for him.