New Brunswick

'Why him?' Wife, children mourning Fredericton shooting victim

A necklace with specks of blood is all Melissa Robichaud has left of her husband, Donnie Robichaud. The 42-year-old was one of four people killed in Friday's shooting in Fredericton.

A necklace with specks of blood is all that Melissa Robichaud has left of her husband, Donnie Robichaud

Donnie Robichaud, centre, with his sons Draiden, left, and Zakkery in a family photo. Robichaud, his girlfriend and two police constables were killed Friday morning. (Melissa Robichaud handout via Canadian Press)

Donnie Robichaud always wore a silver chain, engraved with a biker's prayer, to keep him safe while he rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Robichaud was wearing the necklace when he was shot and killed outside his Fredericton apartment building on Friday morning.

The blood-stained necklace, retrieved from the police station on Sunday afternoon, is all Melissa Robichaud has left of her husband.

"He never took it off," she said.

Donnie Robichaud, 42, was killed alongside his 32-year-old girlfriend, Bobbie Lee Wright, and two Fredericton police officers, Const. Sara Burns and Const. Robb Costello.

Police allege the gunman was Matthew Vincent Raymond, a 48-year-old man who fired at his victims with a long gun from an apartment window. He faces four counts of first-degree murder.

Raymond had been living in building C, unit 11 of the 237 Brookside Dr. apartment complex. The complex includes four apartment buildings, A, B, C, and D.

Donnie Robichaud moved into unit five of building D in January.

Doesn't believe husband was targeted

But Melissa Robichaud doesn't believe her husband — the couple separated in December — knew Raymond.

She said police told her Donnie wasn't targeted.

Robichaud wore this necklace everywhere he went. His wife, Melissa Robichaud, retrieved the blood-stained necklace from police on Sunday. (Julia Wright/CBC)

"Anybody that walked into that parking lot would have been a target," she said.

"It just happened to be him."

Originally, Melissa Robichaud was supposed to pick up her two teenage boys, Zakk and Draiden, in that parking lot on Friday morning.

By chance, she arrived home earlier than expected from a trip and picked them up the night before the shooting.

The thought of what could have happened haunts her.

"My kids could have been shot," she said through tears.

'He was happy'

Donnie was most proud of his children and his restored Harley-Davidson, according to his wife.

Even though the pair were separated, they still spoke often.

"He was an amazing man," Robichaud said.

Melissa Robichaud wants Donnie to be remembered for being a good friend and father. (Melissa Robichaud)

She said Donnie was packing up Wright's car when the shooting happened, around 7:10 a.m. He and Wright had only been dating a short time, but by all accounts, he was happy with her.

After he finished his shift at Auto Choice, Donnie and his girlfriend planned to go zip-lining and stay at a cottage, Robichaud said.

Donnie never made it to work. He died from a single gunshot wound to the neck, the coroner told her.

Two days after her husband died, Robichaud has a million questions.

"Why him?" she asked.

"Why take a good man? Why take away two kids' father? Why take away somebody who was so loved? He was happy. He was finally just happy."

'He always looked out for us'

Melissa Robichaud and her children, 16-year-old Draiden and 17-year-old Zakk, are trying to piece together why someone shot and killed the boys' father, Donnie Robichaud. (Julia Wright/CBC)

Zakk Robichaud wants his father to be remembered as a good father, husband and friend.

He loved going on camping trips and long drives with his father.

"Sometimes we had no money," he said.

"He would try his best, he always fed us no matter what. Even if he had no money, he would always find a way to do that. He always looked out for us."

Zakk planned to spend this coming week with his father.

Instead, the 17-year-old will be attending a private visitation on Monday.

"I want him to be remembered as a great father and a great person."

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