National Post (Latest Edition)

‘I saw the barrel pointing ... at me’

Officer testifies in Fredericto­n shootings

- Kevin Bissett

IC TON • Const. Brett Arbeau grabbed his carbine and began to put on his body armour when he heard gunshots.

He was the third police car to arrive at the Fredericto­n apartment complex the morning of Aug. 10, 2018 when four people, including two police officers, were killed.

Constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns drove into the driveway of the complex and proceeded to the back of the property, while Sgt. Jason Forward stopped to speak with a resident. Arbeau used his car to block the road.

“I heard Forward report two officers were down,” Arbeau told the first- degree murder trial of Matthew Raymond on Monday. “I had no idea where the shots were coming from at this point.”

Arbeau said as other officers arrived, they determined the shots were coming from an apartment at the top level of the three- storey Building C, and several bullet holes could be seen in a large window. Arbeau said he was advised the suspect could be seen in the picture window and was a white male wearing a white T-shirt.

He said he was instructed to shoot the suspect if he tried to start shooting again.

Arbeau could see Raymond in the apartment and he appeared to be yelling and making gestures, although he couldn’t hear him.

Arbeau said at one point it appeared Raymond was raising a rifle, so he tried to shoot, but his carbine misfired.

He said he took cover and cleared the blockage before taking up his position again.

“As I’m watching him through my scope he puts his firearm down. He looks past me. He scans very, very slowly past me, and he looks from north to south, and as he looks past me, he saw me. He quickly looks back at me and locked eyes. He raises his firearm, and as he raises his firearm I saw the barrel pointing directly at me, so I advised ‘ gun, gun,’ ” Arbeau told the court.

“I pulled the trigger and the gun fired. I saw that he had been struck somewhere in the abdomen. He spun very quickly and went down,” he said.

Arbeau said he remained in his location until he was cleared by an RCMP Emergency Response Team.

“It seemed like a very long time,” he said.

The defence has acknowledg­ed Raymond killed the two officers as well as Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright but says he should be found not criminally responsibl­e because of a mental disorder.

Acting Cpl. Jarrett Blackmore, who also testified on Monday, he was among the officers who entered Raymond’s apartment. He saw the suspect on the floor and noticed the gunshot wound in Raymond’s abdomen.

He was shown pictures of the apartment and identified a shotgun on a couch in one photo and a SKS rifle on the floor in another picture, as well as a knife on the floor.

 ?? Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS files ?? Matthew Vincent Raymond, pictured being escorted from a Fredericto­n courthouse last year, is being tried for first- degree murder in the August
2018 shootings of four people. Const. Brett Arbeau, an officer who arrived at the scene of the shootings, testified at the trial on Monday.
Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS files Matthew Vincent Raymond, pictured being escorted from a Fredericto­n courthouse last year, is being tried for first- degree murder in the August 2018 shootings of four people. Const. Brett Arbeau, an officer who arrived at the scene of the shootings, testified at the trial on Monday.

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