New Brunswick

'We've lost a brother': Robert Costello remembered by former colleague

One of the two Fredericton police officers who died in the shooting that also killed two civilians Friday morning, is being remembered as a constant source of cheer by a friend and former colleague.

'It's a big loss overall to the community,' says former president of N.B. Police Association

Veteran Fredericton police officer Lawrence Robert Costello, 45, is survived by his partner and four children.

One of the two Fredericton police officers who died in the shooting that also killed two civilians Friday morning is being remembered as a constant source of cheer by a friend and former colleague.

Lawrence Robert Costello, 45, was a 20-year police veteran and is survived by his partner and four children.

Dean Secord, past president of the New Brunswick Police Association, became friends with Costello while they served on the executive together.

"He was always cheerful, no matter what was going on, [he] was always the person thinking positive. It was great working with him," said Secord.

Secord retired from the Saint John Police Force in March after serving for nearly 30 years.

As he and Costello got to know each other, they realized they had both gone to school in Sussex together.

Dean Secord, past president of the New Brunswick Police Association, says Robb always had a positive attitude. (CBC)

Secord said the news of his friend's death Friday mid-morning was difficult, and he spent the day remembering Costello.

"I've got a knot in my stomach and it won't go away" said Secord. 

Secord said the loss is compounded by the fact that Costello was so positive and wanted to make change in the community.

"It's a big loss, not only to the policing community," said Secord. "We've lost a friend. We've lost a brother."

Secord acknowledged that he is just one of many people who cared for Costello. He said his heart goes out to both his and Sara Burns' friends, colleagues, and family.

Burns is the other police officer who was killed in the shooting on Friday. Burns, 43, joined the Fredericton Police Force in 2016 but previously served as an auxiliary officer for two years. She was married with three children.

Secord said he hasn't reached out to Costello's family yet, despite having met his partner a few times. He said he doesn't want to overwhelm them but will reach out in due time.

Police officers Robert Costello, 45, and Sara Burns, 43 were killed in the north-side shooting in Fredericton on Friday morning. (Fredericton Police Force/Twitter)

"Somebody has lost a son and a husband and a father. And a wife, and a mother. So it's a big loss overall to the community."

He said it will be a tough time in Fredericton over the next few weeks.

"We'll grieve, we'll get through this horrible tragedy," said Secord. "Robb's now looking down upon us."

with files from Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon