Residents of a Fredericton apartment complex that was the scene of a deadly shooting last Friday are slowly returning home.
The attack on Brookside Drive claimed four lives, including two Fredericton Police Force officers.
Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder. He is set to appear in court on Aug. 27.
WATCH: Residents of a Fredericton apartment complex that was the scene of a deadly shooting last Friday are slowly returning home. Morganne Campbell gives us an inside look at what that means for a city still searching for answers.
Tuesday morning, residents began returning to their units after police released the scene back to the complex’s owner. As a slow but steady stream of tenants returned to the buildings, crews of maintenance workers quietly repaired bullet holes in siding and replaced panes of glass.
Calvin Cole, who lives in the unit directly below the alleged shooter’s, says being home brings back frightful memories.
“I think it was around 6 or 7 o’clock that I woke up to the sound of like four pops but it turned out to be gunshots,” he recalled.
He says he heard a lot of yelling, “thrashing” and “pops” going off.
“I couldn’t hear the details of the exact wording and stuff but they were yelling between the shooter and the police I believe,” he said.
Cole says he returned to find minimal damage in his home — a bed kicked aside and the fridge door open — but his peace of mind has certainly been disturbed.
“I would say I had second thoughts [about moving back]. I don’t really feel comfortable in the neighbourhood,” he said.
WATCH: Accused Fredericton gunman described as “lonely” and “ignorant”
Fellow resident Joe Cartwright agrees. He is so unsettled by what happened, he is now in the process of moving his girlfriend, four-year-old son and himself out of the apartment.
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“My girlfriend — when she heard the cops banging on the neighbour’s door, she opened door and got my son to safety,” he recalled.
WATCH: Joe Cartwright who lives at the apartment complex where the fatal Fredericton shooting took place says he plans to move his family out of the building
He calls his girlfriend a hero for keeping their son calm while also reassuring him on the phone.
“I got the call at work, I bolted from work. I couldn’t get any closer than Tim Horton’s. I could hear the shots, everything,” he said.
“I could see the apartment building but I couldn’t get here and as a parent, that’s the probably the worst feeling in the world, knowing there’s somebody shooting where your four-year-old son is.”
Cartwright became emotional as he spoke about the long journey ahead, in terms of their mental wellbeing.
“My only goal from this point on is making sure my family gets the love and the treatment that they need,” he said.
That need for mental health resources is what Suzanne Webster and a fellow team of volunteers is hoping to fill.
The volunteers are from Victim Witness Services with the Fredericton Police Force, and were at the apartment complex Tuesday morning handing out packages to returning tenants.
The brochures list contact information for counselling services, and offer tips on how to speak to children about traumatic events.
“These people have had a very traumatic experience and we’re here to support them,” Webster said.
“It can have long-term effects. People may have trouble sleeping. They may be more irritable than usual, so it’s really important to get help and get a grip on it as soon as possible.”
Webster expects many of the tenants will reach out in the coming days. She says an outreach centre staffed by volunteer social workers over the weekend was well attended by residents.
— With files from Morganne Campbell