David Wynn's family saying its 'goodbyes'
Members of the Bridgewater Police Service acted as references when Wynn applied to the RCMP
The wife of an RCMP constable gravely wounded in an Alberta shooting on Saturday says the family is saying its goodbyes.
“We’re saying our goodbyes today, and then from there he’ll be in a better place,” Shelly Wynn said about her husband, Const. David Wynn.
"And I just want to send a message to everybody at home in Nova Scotia. That I know you're thinking of him, especially his paramedic co-workers when we lived in Nova Scotia and I've told him that you've all sent messages. And he knows that you're there, thinking about him."
Wynn and Aux. Const. Derek Bond were both shot at close range while arresting a suspect about a stolen car at the Apex Casino in St. Albert, Alta., on Saturday morning.
Both officers were taken to hospital with severe injuries. Bond, who was shot in the right arm and torso, was released Saturday night, while Wynn has not regained consciousness.
Before moving to Alberta, Wynn worked as a paramedic in Nova Scotia and was among the first responders to the Swissair Flight 111 plane crash off Peggys Cove.
The chief of police for the town of Bridgewater, on Nova Scotia's South Shore, says the news of the shooting is devastating.
"Saturday was not a good day and I know a number of people are still struggling with this," Bridgewater Police Chief John Collyer told CBC News on Monday.
"What happened to Dave has been devastating many of us in this community. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and his family and his colleagues out west."
Collyer said Wynn was a "regular fixture" on many of the emergency calls that he and the Bridgewater Police Service went on in the 1990s.
"I'm sure there's a lot of people when they see Dave's picture in the next little while — particularly here on the South Shore — that will go 'I know that guy, he looked after me and got me to the hospital,'" he said.
"He saved lives here on the South Shore."
'A huge supporter of the community'
Collyer said when Wynn applied to the RCMP, the members of the police force mentored him and acted as his references.
"When Dave first expressed an interest in policing as a career, he spoke to a number of us here and we encouraged him in that interest," he said.
"It's like an itch, it gets under your skin. Once you have it, you've got to give it a scratch."
Collyer described Wynn as someone who threw himself into everything he did.
"He was a huge family man, a huge supporter of the community. He brought a lot to his community. I know that he was enjoying his career in policing and I don't think there's anything better than that," he said.
Others who worked with Wynn when he was in Bridgewater praised his calm demeanour and dedication to his work.
Ismael Aquino, provincial director of the Red Cross in Nova Scotia, remembers when he first spoke to Wynn. The paramedic called him on the evening of Sept. 2, 1998, looking to mobilize ambulances to search for survivors when Swissair Flight 111 crashed off the coast of the province.
"Dave is just a very calm and kind person," Aquino said.
"He was just sort of the right person to be on the scene for that particular situation."
Premier sends thoughts
Michael Conklin, who lives in Bridgewater, coached one of Wynn's sons in the town's minor hockey association. He said Wynn was actively involved in his sons's minor hockey activities.
"I remember sitting in a board meeting for Bridgewater Minor Hockey and at the time David was our ice co-ordinator … and he said at that time it had been a lifelong dream of his to become a member of the RCMP and he finally got accepted into the force," said Conklin.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is sending his support to Wynn.
"The thoughts and prayers of all Nova Scotians are with David Wynn and his family in this difficult time," said McNeil.
"He helped Nova Scotians in their times of need for years and has served bravely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I'm sure I speak for the entire province when I say we are thinking of him."
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said the suspected shooter, Shawn Maxwell Rehn, had an extensive criminal history involving "a labyrinth" of firearms and violence charges. He added Rehn was under a lifetime weapon prohibition because of previous convictions.
Rehn fled the scene of the shooting. He was found dead in a rural home hours later.