MONCTON, N.B. – A young man charged with fatally shooting three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton, N.B., last month will return to court July 31 after undergoing a psychiatric assessment.
Justin Bourque is facing three first-degree murder charges and two counts of attempted murder.
The 24-year-old said nothing as he appeared in a full courtroom at the Moncton Provincial Courthouse. Bourque’s father and two of his sisters were in attendance.
His lawyer David Lutz said he was making the request for a psychiatric assessment after speaking to his client’s father.
“I have met extensively with the father and to a lesser degree with the mother. I am aware of the circumstances that led up to the horrific incident and I feel based upon my experience this is an appropriate case,” he said.
The Crown agreed to the defence request.
Lutz would not comment outside court. Bourque has not entered pleas on the charges.
Global News spoke with a friend of Bourque’s, Mireille Thibault. She said she’s known Bourque and his family since she was a child and came to court to support his sisters and his father.
“I just think they need a lot of support right now just like everyone else. It’s a tough thing to go through,” she said.
Thibault said she lost touch with Bourque in the last year, but had noticed some changes in Bourque in recent years.
She said she thought the psychiatric assessment was a good idea.
“I think just to rule out if he does have any issues. If, you know, the day of, he had something going on that kind of triggered him,” she said.
Constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche were gunned down after responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential neighbourhood on June 4.
Two other RCMP officers – constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen – were wounded and later released from hospital.
The shootings and ensuing manhunt brought the city to a standstill until an arrest was made about 30 hours later.
With files from Global News reporter Alexandra Abdelwahab
© 2014 The Canadian Press