Po­lice among shooting vic­tims

4 killed in New Brunswick shooting in­clude 2 of­fi­cers

Penticton Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

FRED­ER­IC­TON — New Brunswick’s usu­ally quiet cap­i­tal city erupted in vi­o­lence Fri­day, as two po­lice of­fi­cers re­spond­ing to a shooting ar­rived to find two vic­tims — and were then fa­tally shot them­selves. The vic­tims in­clude Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns and two civil­ians — a man and a woman — who re­main uniden­ti­fied, po­lice said.

“This is the worst mo­ment for any chief of po­lice in any po­lice agency to have to de­liver this news,” Po­lice Chief Leanne Fitch told a news con­fer­ence.

A Fred­er­ic­ton hos­pi­tal was treat­ing “mul­ti­ple vic­tims,” but po­lice would not say how many peo­ple were in­jured in the in­ci­dent, in a res­i­den­tial area on the city’s north side.

Po­lice said they have a 48-yearold Fred­er­ic­ton man in cus­tody who was be­ing treated for se­ri­ous in­juries. They would not re­veal what kind of firearm was used.

Deputy po­lice chief Martin Gaudet said the two of­fi­cers re­sponded to the area around 7:10 a.m. and found two vic­tims on the ground, an adult man and woman.

“That’s when they (the of­fi­cers) were shot,” he said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence.

He had no in­for­ma­tion on any oth­ers who were hurt.

“There were many of­fi­cers in and around the build­ing at that time, so when the call came in shots fired, of­fi­cers jumped in a cruiser and at­tended the scene. They were the ini­tial of­fi­cers on scene.”

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.

Jackie McLean, Costello’s com­mon-law part­ner, says a po­lice in­spec­tor told fam­ily mem­bers the news Fri­day morn­ing.

“He loved be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer and he lived for be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer,” she told The Cana­dian Press in an in­ter­view.

Res­i­dents said the in­ci­dent be­gan at about 7 a.m. at an apart­ment com­plex on Brook­side Drive.

Tim More­house said he was in his apart­ment when he heard some­one shout: “Shut up! Shut up!”

He said he heard two gun­shots, and then three more. He said he looked out his win­dow and saw the body of a man on the ground, in the back park­ing lot of 237 Brook­side Dr.

“I hear more shots and looked out and there’s two po­lice of­fi­cers on the ground. I called 911 and they came and checked on them and they were shot,” he said.

David MacCoubrey said he awoke in his Brook­side Drive apart­ment at 7:07 a.m. to the sound of gun­shots “10 me­tres from my bed.”

MacCoubrey said three gun­shots woke him up, and as many as 17 more were fired be­tween that time and around 8:30 a.m.

“It sounded like the first one came from right out­side my bed­room win­dow . . . I was hop­ing for the two sec­onds that I was groggy, that it was kids blow­ing off fire­crack­ers,” said MacCoubrey in a phone in­ter­view from in­side his apart­ment, where he was sit­ting on the floor away from win­dows.

“Then two more hap­pened within the first three min­utes.”

He said the apart­ment com­plex has four build­ings in a square, and it sounded like the shots were com­ing from the mid­dle of the com­plex.

MacCoubrey said po­lice had searched the build­ings and went through his apart­ment.

“I saw an ar­moured ve­hi­cle out in the court­yard and I opened up my win­dow to see if I could hear any­thing and the shots started again,” he said. “I’m not scared in the least. I’m an­gry. I don’t like the vi­o­lence . . . I’m wor­ried for the other peo­ple around me.”

A large group of Fred­er­ic­ton po­lice of­fi­cers gath­ered out­side the Chalmers hos­pi­tal, and they ap­peared to be con­sol­ing each other. They watched as the hos­pi­tal’s New Brunswick and Cana­dian flags were low­ered to half-mast.

By Fri­day af­ter­noon, a memo­rial of flow­ers and mes­sages was grow­ing in front of the Fred­er­ic­ton po­lice sta­tion.

A vigil was held Fri­day evening at which more than 100 mourn­ers packed into St. John the Evan­ge­list Angli­can Church.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gal­lant said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been turned over to the RCMP.

Costello

Burns

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