New Brunswick

Husband of slain police officer talks about life since shooting

Steve Burns has felt a roller-coaster of emotions since his wife Sara and three other people were shot to death in Fredericton last August, but one emotion he doesn't feel is anger.

Memorial fund set up in honour of Sara Burns is devoted to causes she cared about

'She was doing what she loved and working for the community that she loved,' said Steve Burns. (Submitted by Steven Burns)

Steve Burns's life dramatically changed last Aug. 10.

His wife, Fredericton police officer Sara Burns, was shot and killed that morning, along with a fellow officer and two other residents. 

Since the shootings, Burns has felt a roller-coaster of emotions, but one emotion he doesn't feel is anger.

"I can't really explain it," he said. 

"She was doing what she loved and working for the community that she loved. … We spent 24 awesome years together. I spent the day before with her … I just have all these things I hold onto, and that's why I don't get angry about it."

Matthew Vincent Raymond, the man accused of killing Sara, her colleague Robb Costello, Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, has made several court appearances and is now undergoing an examination to determine whether he is not criminally responsible. 

Life after Sara

After losing his wife, Burns found himself in a situation he wasn't prepared for, a single parent to three boys.

His children have been strong through the whole ordeal, he said, pointing to a school essay his son wrote called "The Gift," which talks about living life to the fullest.

"You just never know what's going to happen," Burns said. 

Const. Sara Burns, posing with her family while on vacation. (Submitted by Steven Burns)

Burns, who has an internet technology company, said he's been able to take as much time as he's needed to deal with his wife's death.

He has also been grateful for the kindness of friends and strangers, saying he never had to make a phone call for help, because help was always offered.

Burns's life in the past six months has given him insight into the hardships many single parents face.

"I can't imagine being the father or mother of three children and having to work 40 hours a week," he said. "It just blows my mind."

Remembering Sara Burns

There have been numerous events and fundraisers in Sara's honour.

Aitken's Pewter minted a special coin and Grimross Brewery released a special edition beer named after Sara's horse, Grimsby.

On Saturday night, singer Kayley Hill, who competed on The Voice, will perform at a fundraiser called Be My Valentine at the Fredericton Convention Centre. The event includes an auction. 

Proceeds from the fundraisers go to the Sara Burns Police Memorial Fund.

The fund will help support work in mental health and wellness, women and violence, adult education and community safety.

The Sara Burns Police Memorial Fund will focus on mental health and wellness, women and violence, adult education and community safety.

"Those are the things that are near and dear to her heart and that's where this money will go," Burns said.

He said he hopes to get the memorial fund up to $1 million, after which it should be self-sufficient.

Steve said if Sara were alive and able to see how much the city has come together to raise money, she would be proud. 

Grimross co-owner Stephen Dixon and his brewer set out to create a beer to honour fallen officer Sara Burns and give 100 percent of the money from sales to the memorial fund in her name. 0:42

With files from Information Morning Fredericton