Dozens remain out of their homes after Fredericton shooting
The Red Cross says it has helped 54 people from 28 households
Dozens of people forced to leave their apartments after Friday's deadly shooting in north Fredericton should be able to return on Monday, city police said Saturday at a news conference.
Roughly 70 people were asked to leave their homes after the shooting at an apartment complex on Brookside Drive that left four people dead, including two police officers.
One man, who was shot by police, is in custody.
Fredericton police and the RCMP locked down the area for about four hours Friday and evacuated more than two dozen households.
"We anticipated there would potentially be some evacuees. We were ready at the standby," Bill Lawlor, provincial director with the Red Cross, told Shift New Brunswick.
Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns were shot as they approached two people — Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbi Lee Wright, 32 — lying on the ground.
Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, was apprehended and charged with four counts of first-degree murder. He was shot by by police during the incident and treated for injuries. Police say he's now in "stable but serious" condition.
54 received assistance
Red Cross spokesman Dan Bedell confirmed Saturday that 54 people from 28 households affected by the shooting contacted the organization.
Of that group, 46 people from 22 households were give accommodations for the night, though Bedell said they believed they would likely need assistance through the weekend.
Martin Gaudet, the deputy police chief, said Saturday the displaced individuals could return Monday as the investigation continues in the 200 block of Brookside Drive.
On Saturday, tenants of the apartment complex where the shooting occurred were escorted by police back into the buildings to collect some personal belongings — and their cats.
Brian Robison left for work before the first shot was fired Friday morning, and he was pleased to find his three-month-old kitten, Harmony, safe and sound.
He said he plans to continue living there.
"It's still a good community," he said. "Just some people do bad things."
Joe Cartwright could only find one of his two cats. He said all the doors had been kicked in after emerging from one of the buildings.
Cartwright, his girlfriend and his four-year-old son are still shaken from the violence, he said.
"There were bullets going everywhere, people dying," said Cartwright, who was at work during the shooting.
"I left work, I tried to get here, I tried to get to my son. As a parent, it's probably the worst feeling in the world knowing your son is in a building that people are shooting at."
Lawlor said the Red Cross has experience in this type of situation having helped during the lockdown in Moncton in June 2014 when 5 RCMP officers were shot. Three officers were killed and two were wounded.
"We were contacted by the City of Fredericton to provide some support to those residents who could not return home. Those residents would have been very, very close to the area of the incident."
We have had a number of inquiries about how long the area of Brookside Drive will be closed, and about displaced residents. As of this evening, <a href="https://twitter.com/CityFredGov?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CityFredGov</a> and the Red Cross have facilitated alternate lodging for approx. 50 residents.—@CityFredPolice
Lawlor said the Red Cross is working with victim services, which encouraged evacuees to spend the night with family and friends if possible rather than alone in a hotel room.
Services in place
Lawlor said when the agency was asked to host a reception centre, the Red Cross asked that there be mental health services available for those who may need it.
"Given the circumstances of this one, we wanted to make sure they had the appropriate support as required."
We are deeply saddened by the tragic event this morning in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Fredericton?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Fredericton</a>. Our hearts go out to everyone affected, and our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to members of <a href="https://twitter.com/CityFredPolice?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CityFredPolice</a>.—@CanRedCrossATL
While the Red Cross is normally known for respond to those in need during a natural disaster, fire, Lawlor said the New Brunswick Red Cross was asked to help out during the Humboldt Broncos tragedy because of their experience dealing with other tragedies including a bus crash in Sussex in 2001, the Moncton lockdown in 2014 and in Bathurst in 2008, where seven high school basketball players were killed when their van collided with a transport truck.
"Although not shooting incidents per say, they're more of that social emergency as opposed to natural disasters."
Lawlor said one thing they have learned is when people see a volunteer there in their Red Cross vest, there's an immediate sense of comfort.
"It's all about adapting our training to make sure our personnel are ready to adapt to whatever the situation may be."
With files from Shift New Brunswick