Man faces four counts of mur­der

Matthew Ray­mond due in court at end of the month

Times Colonist - - Fredericton Shootings - MOR­GAN LOWRIE

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.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

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