Moncton shooting: Hundreds attend vigil for fallen RCMP officers

TORONTO -The city of Moncton rallied  in a show of support for police Friday evening, as hundreds attended a candlelight vigil outside Codiac RCMP headquarters, laying flowers on the steps of the building in memory of three fallen officers.

A long reception line formed in the rain as people walked up to thank two officers, shaking their hands or reaching for a hug.

“I’m proud to be a Canadian today,” said Donna Bordage.

READ MORE: Justin Bourque, from kind friend to suspected RCMP killer

“They’re all coming out to say thank you to the people that are still here and that we know are going to protect us,” she told Global News.

“In a terrible circumstance, it’s still nice to see that everybody comes together,” another attendee told Global News’s Mike Armstrong.

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The vigil happened hours after 24-year-old Justin Bourque appeared in court, charged with three counts of  first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Moncton provincial court was packed with people and under heavy guard as Bourque made his first appearance following his arrest at 12:10 a.m. Friday.

WATCH: There has been an outpouring of support for the RCMP killed Wednesday night. Mike Armstrong reports.

Bourque appeared in court with long brown hair and a scruffy beard, wearing prison-issued scrubs. He did not show any kind of emotion as he starred at the judge who read the charges against him.

Neither the defence nor the crown asked for a psychological assessment of the shooting suspect. Bourque was remanded into custody and will appear in court again the morning of July 3.

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RCMP arrested Bourque after an exhaustive 30-hour manhunt  that followed one of the worst mass shootings in the RCMP’s history Wednesday evening.

Residents were asked to remain inside their homes with their doors locked, as police teams searched for a heavily armed shooter.

READ MORE: Drone footage shows a deserted Moncton during manhunt

Residents were asked to remain inside their homes with their doors locked, as police teams searched for the heavily armed shooter for almost 30 hours.

Supt. Marlene Snowman said Bourque was unarmed as he was taken into custody early Friday morning, but police found weapons near the wooded residential area where he was arrested.

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READ MORE: Family of fallen officer says he ‘died a hero’

Commanding Officer of the RCMP in New Brunswick Roger Brown said the organization has “lost three incredible members,” during a press conference Friday morning.

The RCMP have identified the fallen officers:

  • Constable Dave Ross, 32, from Victoriaville, Que. a police dog handler, leaves behind his wife, who is six months pregnant, and their young son.
  • Constable Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, from Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Gevaudan was posted to the Codiac RCMP detachment in 2008 and worked as a general duty police officer.
  • Constable Douglas James Larche, 40, from Saint John, N.B.

Brown also confirmed the identity of the two wounded officers as Const. Darlene Goguen and Const. Eric Dubois.

WATCH: On Friday, Moncton residents paid tribute to those that lost their lives in the line of duty. 

“This is a trying time for our members as we have lost three of our own and two more are hospitalized,” said  Brown.

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“I commend our members for their dedication and professionalism as they were able to stay focused on the task at hand and getting results throughout this ordeal bringing the situation to a quick end. The work of our members was professional and effective. They deserve my utmost respect.”

Timeline: How the Moncton shooting turned into a manhunt

He said the RCMP is now tasked with “rebuilding the sense of security and calmness” that was shattered in Moncton following the shootings.

“It’s very difficult to get our heads around. It’s a local person someone who grew up here just like a lot of us did and it makes it that much more difficult, and will hinder the healing the process to a degree,” said a  woman who stopped by Codiac RCMP headquarters earlier in the day to pay her respects.

As life in Moncton slowly returns to normal, the grieving process for New Brunswick RCMP and the families of the fallen and wounded officers can begin.

*With a file from the Canadian Press

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