New Brunswick

Footage from police body camera used as evidence in Fredericton shooting

One of the six Fredericton police officers assigned to wear body cameras had it on Friday morning when four people were shot at an apartment complex on Brookside Drive on the city's north side.

The body cameras went into use in mid-July, 6 weeks earlier than planned

The Fredericton Police Force started using body cameras in mid-July. (CBC)

One of the Fredericton police officers who responded to the scene of the Friday morning shooting on Brookside Drive was wearing a body camera, gathering evidence that will be part of the investigation. 

Constables Robb Costello, 45, and Sara Burns, 43, were killed while responding to reports of gunfire at an apartment complex on the 200 block of Brookside Drive at 7:10 a.m. AT on Friday.

They were shot as they approached two civilians who were lying on the ground. Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie Lee Wright, 32, also died in the shooting Friday.

Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch confirmed Monday during a late afternoon news conference that an officer had a body camera on but would not confirm if it was Costello or Burns.

"There was a body [camera] video and that is part of the evidence that our investigators are looking at," she said. 

Fitch said she could not get into any specifics because it's part of the ongoing investigation. 

But later in the news conference, Deputy Chief Martin Gaudet said one of the officers involved in the shooting was wearing a camera. 

"The evidence has been downloaded and provided to the RCMP for their investigation." 

Equipment in use earlier than planned

Fredericton police officers started wearing the body cameras in July after the department received the equipment earlier than expected. 

The original plan was to start using the cameras in September but six officers were assigned to wear them beginning in mid-July.

Under the force's policy, the officers activate the cameras when responding to a call or when they "come across an incident requiring investigation."

The department's plan was to assign three cameras to platoon officers, who work four days in a row — two day shifts and two night shifts — then get four days off. The other three cameras were planned to be assigned to traffic officers, who work 10-hour shifts, both days and evenings.

Gaudet said at the time of the early roll out of the body cameras he hoped the department would be getting more so all frontline officers would be equipped with one. 

Fredericton police wore the cameras for 90 days before making the decision to purchase the equipment with funding approved by city council.