New Brunswick

Moncton shootings: RCMP ask residents to look for evidence

RCMP investigating the shooting deaths of three of their officers in Moncton, N.B., are asking people who live in the area to check their properties for evidence.

Investigators also want to see photos, video of around time of shootings

A book of condolence is signed at the Codiac RCMP detachment in Moncton, N.B. on Friday, June 6, 2014 to pay respect to the three RCMP officers who were killed and the two injured in a shooting spree on Wednesday. Justin Bourque, 24, is facing three charges of first-degree murder and two charges of attempted murder. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

RCMP investigating the shooting deaths of three of their officers in Moncton, N.B., are asking people who live in the area to check their properties for evidence.

They also want to see any photos and videos of that fateful day.

Cpl. Chantal Farrah said investigators need the public's help.

"We will leave no stone unturned," she said at a news conference Sunday.

Three RCMP officers were shot and killed Wednesday evening while responding to a report of an armed man. Two others were injured.

A large section of Moncton was placed under lockdown as a manhunt got underway. Residents were told to stay inside their homes for their own safety.

Thirty hours later, police arrested a 24-year-old man, ending the crisis.

RCMP say those same residents may have evidence on their properties that could help investigators. They want residents to inspect their properties and contact RCMP if they see anything that doesn't belong to them.

We must not let fear dictate our future; Doug worked every day for a safer and better world for all of us.- Nadine Larche, wife of slain officer Doug Larche

This includes anything from an object to fluid.

"Call the police. It's as simple as that," Farrah said.

She said investigators have already combed the large search area and there's nothing specific they're looking for.

RCMP are also asking for videos or photos of that evening, both before, during and after the shootings.

Farrah said residents can expect to see many investigators in the area continue to do their work.

'Life is a gift'

Moncton, a city of about 140,000, is still reeling from the shock and horror of the slayings and the manhunt that followed.

The pastor of the Moncton church that Const. Dave Ross, one of the three slain RCMP officers, used to attend reminded parishioners Sunday of the fragility of life.

"Life is a gift to be lived one day at a time," said Jerry Reddy, pastor of Hillside Baptist Church.

Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and Const. Douglas James Larche were also gunned down. Two officers were injured, and Farrah said both have been discharged from hospital.

Reddy said the community needs to heal.

"May that healing begin here today," he told the parishioners.

Many places of worship expected to be full Sunday. 

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, which is in the area of the shooting, opened its doors to the community and is offering counselling to help people cope.

People continue to flock to the Codiac Regional RCMP headquarters in downtown Moncton. The mountain of flowers, teddy bears, candles and notes outside the building is spreading onto the sidewalk and street.

In a public message, the family of Doug Larche thanked people in Moncton and beyond for their show of support.

"Honouring Doug's memory is a celebration of life. We must not let fear dictate our future; Doug worked every day for a safer and better world for all of us," his wife, Nadine, said in the statement.

She said her husband was hard working, loyal and devoted to his three daughters, ages four, eight and nine. She said he will also be remembered for his sense of humour.

"He was the best person I knew," she wrote.

A public visitation for the three fallen officers will be held on Monday at the Wesleyan Celebration Centre in Moncton from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. No photos or videos will be allowed inside.

A regimental funeral for the officers will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. AT at the Moncton Coliseum. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be attending the funeral, which will feature a parade of RCMP employees and those of other law enforcement agencies. A private interment will follow the funeral.

Safe neighbourhood

Meanwhile, some people in Moncton are trying to reclaim their neighbourhood and shake off the image of the shootings.

In a section of the city that was under lockdown, a bike rally was held Saturday. 

"Kids, you need to know that our neighbourhood is just as safe now as it was before the terrible happenings of the last three days," Paul Mann, one of the organizers, told the crowd of children and adults.

Children helped promote the event by handing out flyers.

"People are ready for something like this," Mann said. "Our neighbourhood is not going to be a known as a crime scene."

Justin Bourque, 24, was arrested early Friday. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.


With files from the Canadian Press