Flags across Saskatchewan have been lowered to half-mast to honour the three RCMP officers who were killed on duty in a shooting incident Wednesday in Moncton.
"We're offering our thoughts and prayers to the families of the fallen and also to those who were injured and still in hospital," Premier Brad Wall said Thursday, noting Regina has a special connection to RCMP across the country because it is the home of Depot Division where all Mounties receive their training. "We're sort of the home of the Mounties. We train them all and so ... it's deeply concerning."
The Moncton shootings have stirred emotions among many in the law enforcement community, past and present.
Superintendent Lance Dudar, from the Regina Police Service, said the incident affects officers and their families.
"It strikes very close to home," Dudar told CBC News Thursday, "Our families worry about us as police officers. This is the worst case scenario. One that we never want to see happen."
Messages of condolence can be sent to the RCMP at the following email address:
The chapel at Depot Division remained open through the night Wednesday and a collection box was set up, to raise money for the families of the officers who were killed.
Saskatchewan Mounties have known the pain of losing officers in the line of duty, including in 2006 when two officers were shot to death and a third wounded near Spiritwood, Sask., north of Saskatoon.
MacDowall shooting recalled
Two officers were also shot to death responding to a domestic dispute call in 1970 in MacDowall, Sask., near Prince Albert.
"You think about not just those that were lost, but the families, the children — a number of people who are profoundly affected by these tragedies," Hal Kruger, a retired RCMP officer who remembers the MacDowall shootings, said Thursday. Kruger was one of the first officers on the scene Oct. 9, 1970, and found Sgt. Bob Schrader and Cst. Doug Anson.
"I remember a lot of it," Kruger said, noting the Moncton shootings only revive a lot of memories of that tragedy.
"Your empathy goes out," Doug Madill, another retired Mountie who worked with Kruger and also recalls the 1970 MacDowall case, said. "Because the sad part is, it can happen in any part of Canada. People ask, you know, why Moncton? And it's the same as why Saskatoon? Why Leader, Sask., Onion Lake? It happens and it's just hard to understand."