Police release name of man facing 4 counts of 1st-degree murder in Fredericton shooting
2 police officers were among those killed in the Friday morning shooting
Police investigating the fatal shootings of a Fredericton couple and the two police officers trying to help them say they have not determined if there was a link between the suspect and the victims.
At a news conference Saturday afternoon, police said they were looking for a connection between shooting suspect Matthew Vincent Raymond and the couple who died, Donald Adam Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie Lee Wright, 32.
"That is a piece of information that we're looking to establish," said Martin Gaudet, deputy chief of Fredericton police.
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Raymond, 48, of Fredericton, was charged early Saturday with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Const. Lawrence Robert (Robb) Costello, 45, and Const. Sara Mae Helen Burns, 43, Robichaud and Wright.
Robichaud and Wright were in a relationship, according to Wright's Facebook page.
Fredericton police Chief Leanne Fitch confirmed all four were hit by bullets from a long gun fired from the third storey of an apartment building on the north side of Fredericton. Fitch would not be more specific about the gun and said the police do not know whether it belonged to Raymond.
The police chief said, "Everyone in our community is hurting with the death of our four citizens," Fitch said.
CBC News has learned Raymond had been living for four months at 237C Brookside Drive, the apartment building where the shooting occurred.
He rode his bicycle everywhere, according to Judith Aguilar, office manager with Sunfield Apartment Rentals, which owns the apartment building.
She said Raymond always came into her office to pay rent with a smile and made small talk to the staff.
Raymond is scheduled to make a court appearance Aug. 27.
He was arrested Friday and taken to hospital with serious injuries after being shot by police. He remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.
Initially, the hospital and Fredericton police indicated others were also being treated for gunshot wounds. But on Saturday, RCMP clarified that no one else was wounded in the shooting apart from the four dead and the suspect, who was shot by police.
Costello and Burns were shot after being the first officers to respond to a call about shots being fired at an apartment complex on the 200 block of Brookside Drive in the city's north end at 7:10 a.m. AT.
Police said they were shot as they approached Robichaud and Wright, who were lying on the ground outside one of the apartment buildings. The police force was undergoing a shift change when the shooting happened.
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The homicide investigation has now been taken over by the RCMP, but Fitch said Fredericton police would be assisting.
Anyone with photos or video footage of the events that transpired Friday morning on Brookside is being asked to upload images and video to this police website.
Urges public not to speculate
Although she provided few new details about the incident, Fitch pleaded with people in the city of 58,000 not to speculate about what happened.
"It will be up to the investigators to determine what led to yesterday's shootings. Please know that this is a complex investigation and it must be thorough in nature.
"I ask residents not to speculate — please I can't stress that enough — media and residents please don't speculate. Please let all our investigators do their work and find the facts that need to be found."
Fredericton Mayor Mike O'Brien, at the same news conference, acknowledged criticism of the city's minimum amount of of communication with the public.
"There was some criticism about lack of information coming out but that's because the investigation is still going on," O'Brien said.
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O'Brien went on to talk about the healing of the city and pointed to its Pride parade on Sunday.
"Those things are important to show that we still exist as a community, we still have people that we look after, and there's a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Fredericton on Sunday for the Pride parade and a youth forum later in the day.
Police were dispatched to the Brookside apartment complex after witnesses reported shots being fired.
Some people in the area said they heard dozens of shots around 7 a.m.
Police set up a perimeter, and the neighbourhood was sealed off while residents were told to stay inside.
At 9:30 a.m., police entered an apartment and arrested Raymond. A window on the top floor of the building showed holes left by tear gas canisters.
Police declared the threat to the neighbourhood over at about 11 a.m.
Apartment buildings in the area were evacuated. Gaudet said he's hopeful residents will be able to return home Monday.
Local force gets help
Ross White, chief superintendent of the New Brunswick RCMP, said the major crimes division assisted local police in the investigation Friday.
Police officers from other agencies across the province will be patrolling the city in the coming days and weeks to provide some relief to the force.
Details about funeral arrangements will be announced later, Fitch said.
A vigil is scheduled in front of City Hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday.