August 14, 2018 3:53 pm
Updated: August 15, 2018 6:14 am

Accused in Fredericton shooting described as quick to anger and a problem for N.B. shop owner

WATCH: Fredericton police have acquired valuable evidence in their investigation into Friday's shootings that left two officers and two civilians dead. But a motive remains unclear. And as Ross Lord reports, it comes as new details surface about the accused gunman, Matthew Vincent Raymond.

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A Fredericton business owner who says he has known the man accused of a deadly shooting for the past 25 years, says that he gave “everyone” anxiety whenever he came into the room.

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Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in relation to the attack on Brookside Drive which claimed the lives of Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud, as well as Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns, both of whom were members of the Fredericton Police Force

Raymond is set to appear in court on Aug. 27.

Greg Bradford the owner of Key Cycle, a bicycle repair shop near the neighbourhood where the shootings happened, told Global News that he believes Raymond had anger issues.

“I had a hard time with him in my shop,” he said.

READ MORE: Alleged Fredericton gunman had firearms licence, gun was legally obtainable

Bradford says that he had to throw him out of the shop a few times and that Raymond once threatened him.

“He threatened me, ‘If you tell anyone I’m shooting out in the woods, I’ll fight you,’” Bradford said.

Despite the threats and anxiety that Raymond caused, Bradford says that no one could’ve expected the shooting.

“Everybody thought he was harmless,” Bradford told Global News.

Friends and acquaintances of Raymond have offered varying memories of the accused murder: a boy who retreated into video games, a pleasant supermarket co-worker, and an increasingly isolated loner in later years.

Childhood friends have clear recollections of a boy who often preferred to be by himself, playing video games rather than socializing with other children.

However, others recall a pleasant, middle-aged co-worker who smiled as he came to work at a Fredericton supermarket, cheerfully toting his bicycle helmet.

Beth Hoyt, a Fredericton woman who grew up with Raymond in the city’s south side, says the generally “happy and quiet boy” would come outside and play street hockey, baseball, bike riding or whatever else was going on in the neighbourhood.

Still, the 46-year-old woman also recalled clearly that Raymond’s mother was concerned that her son preferred to be back inside playing video games rather than in the fresh air.

“It’s just that his mother was always saying, ‘I wish he’d get out of the basement, stop playing (video) games and do more outside,”‘ she said in a telephone interview.

“He would come and play for awhile but then he would be right back by himself. She wanted more of the happy times for him.”

Hoyt had limited contact with Raymond after she graduated from Fredericton High School, but in adulthood, Hoyt said she briefly found Raymond to be a good employee.

She hired him to assemble bicycles in a retail store, and “there was never a problem during that.”

More recently, Hoyt would pass him at a coffee shop where he was sitting and talking to friends, and he would greet her in a friendly way.

Jim Whelan, Hoyt’s boyfriend, worked with Raymond at an Atlantic Superstore in Fredericton about eight years ago.

He said he had generally found Raymond to be a pleasant co-worker who came into work smiling.

READ MORE: Calling Fredericton shooter ‘normal’ is damaging to victims, say advocates

He said that Raymond had often mentioned he played video games, including Call of Duty, a video game franchise that includes shooting.

However, neither he nor Hoyt said they experienced discomfort around Raymond in the years they encountered him.

“I’m shocked. I don’t know what happened. You wonder what is going on,” said Whelan.

The issue of video game use often emerges when media cover violent deaths, say psychologists who caution against drawing links to criminal activity.

The American Psychological Association issued a public statement in 2015 saying the existing quantitative research didn’t show a clear link between excessive viewing of violent video games and criminal violence.

Chris Ferguson, an associate professor and co-chairman of the Department of Psychology at Stetson University, said some psychologists also dispute that there are any links between violent video games and aggression towards others.

“Long-term outcome studies of youth do not typically find that violent media consumption is a predictor of delinquency, conduct disorder or other antisocial outcomes. We just published a longitudinal study with kids as young as eight, that found no evidence for effects,” he wrote in an email.

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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