Man faces four counts of murder
Matthew Raymond due in court at end of the month
FREDERICTON — A man charged with multiple murders at a Fredericton apartment complex was described as seemingly “polite and pleasant,” with police yet unable to offer the public any alleged motive for Friday’s burst of violence.
Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, of Fredericton is accused of killing 32-year-old Bobbie Lee Wright, her boyfriend Donnie Robichaud, and police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns.
Raymond has lived in the complex for about four months, according to Judith Aguilar, an office manager for Sunfield Apartment Rentals, the complex’s owners. Aguilar said he is an avid cyclist who often went to pay his rent in cash while wearing a bike helmet.
“He seemed like a reasonably normal person. He seemed normal and made small talk every time you saw him. He came in every month to pay rent. He was always polite and pleasant,” Aguilar said Saturday.
Both Robichaud, 42, and Raymond were residents of the complex, but lived in different buildings, she said.
Investigators have not established a relationship between the accused and the deceased, said Fredericton deputy police chief Martin Gaudet.
“That is a piece of information we’re looking to establish, and we haven’t established it yet,” he said at a news conference outside police headquarters, where residents had placed flowers, notes and teddy bears in sympathy for the fallen officers.
While little is known about the alleged gunman’s potential motives, police have begun piecing together what happened.
Investigators allege a man shot at Wright and Robichaud from an elevated position shortly after 7 a.m. Friday, using a long gun. They said Costello and Burns were responding to the shooting and found two victims on the ground, a man and woman. That is when the officers were shot, police said.
Officials said Saturday that just one person was in hospital after the shooting — Raymond, who was being treated for serious injuries after being shot by police.
He is to remain in custody until he appears in court on Aug. 27, police said.
In an interview Saturday, Aguilar said Raymond came to the office every month to pay his rent in cash.
“He seemed like a very normal and pleasant person, really,” she said. “He’s tall and was in fairly good shape because he biked everywhere.”
At one point, she said maintenance workers needed to do some work in his apartment and he didn’t want the workers there while he wasn’t present.
“He seemed concerned. He said he had an expensive computer and an expensive bike and he didn’t want anyone to be there alone,” she said. “They didn’t even have to go all the way into the apartment, they were just fixing his doorframe at the time.”
She said she didn’t interact with Robichaud much because he didn’t come into the office to make his rent payments, and she did not know if he knew Raymond.
On Saturday morning, the area surrounding the crime scene remained cordoned off by yellow tape, but police allowed some shaken residents through to check on their pets.
An RCMP forensic unit was on scene and police could be seen moving through the complex of low-rise, brick apartments.
More than half a dozen bullet holes could be seen in the window of an upper-floor corner apartment, while a second window appeared to have been mostly smashed.
Joe Cartwright emerged from the building to say all the doors in the complex had been kicked in and one of his cats had escaped.
Cartwright said his girlfriend, Caitlyn Francis, and four-year-old son had been at home during the shooting, and he rushed to the scene in a panic once he realized his family could be in danger.
“I’m very torn up,” he said. “I’m not doing very well at all. My girlfriend’s not, my son’s not, so we’re going to go and just try to calm down from this.”
Francis said she had been getting her stepson ready for daycare at 7:10 a.m. when she heard police sirens. She looked out and saw a police car pull in, driven by a man she believes was Costello.
“Not even a minute or two later I heard the first gunshot,” she said Saturday morning, as she stood wrapped in a Red Cross blanket outside the apartment complex.
“I started bolting into my apartment and heard a second one.”
The next moments were a blur as she focused on keeping her stepson safe and calm as several more shots could be heard, she said.
“I pulled him into my bedroom, got him to lay on the floor back there, tried to play cartoons for him, but he still could hear [the gunshots],” she said.
“There was no playing off what those sounds were, he knew it.”
Five minutes after the gunfire ceased, she peeked out the window and saw the leg of a person who was lying on the ground.
Fredericton police said Friday night that the city and Red Cross had found lodging for 50 residents unable to return to their homes on Brookside Drive on the city’s north side.
At least 10 children lost a parent in the burst of violence.
Costello, 45, was a 20-year police veteran with four children, while Burns, 43, had been an officer for two years and was married with three children.
Robichaud, a father of three who played bass and sang in a few local bands, had just begun dating Wright.
An online fundraising campaign aims to raise $12,000 for the families.
Flowers are placed on a makeshift memorial outside the police station in Fredericton on Saturday. Two city police officers were among four people who died in a shooting in a residential area on the city’s north side.