Res­i­dents al­lowed back into apart­ment com­plex

Fred­er­ic­ton po­lice re­lease scene of shoot­ing spree, but ‘da­m­age’ re­mains

The Western Star - - ATLANTIC - BY KEVIN BISSETT

Res­i­dents of the Fred­er­ic­ton apart­ment com­plex that was the scene of Fri­day’s deadly shoot­ing spree are be­ing al­lowed back into their homes, but many are al­ready think­ing about mov­ing out.

Four peo­ple were gunned down at a four-build­ing com­plex on Brook­side Drive in the city’s north end.

Bob­bie Lee Wright and Don­nie Ro­bichaud died in the shoot­ing, along with re­spond­ing of­fi­cers Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns of Fred­er­ic­ton po­lice.

Joseph Cartwright was at work that morn­ing when he got the call from his girlfriend to say that there was gun­fire and she and Cartwright’s four-year-old son were scared.

“I bolted from work. I couldn’t get any closer than the Tim Hor­ton’s. I could hear the shots and I could see the apart­ment build­ing but I couldn’t get here. As a par­ent that’s prob­a­bly the worst feel­ing in the world, know­ing there’s some­body shoot­ing where your four-year-old son is,” Cartwright said Tues­day.

They were not in the same build­ing as the shooter, but were only a few me­tres away. Po­lice were able to get them safely out of harm’s way.

Cartwright said po­lice kicked in the doors of a num­ber of apart­ments in or­der to gain en­try, but main­te­nance staff have since made re­pairs.

Other build­ings still bear the scars of the tragedy. A win­dow is smashed out in the third floor apart­ment where the shooter was lo­cated, while an­other win­dow in that apart­ment has bul­let holes.

A third floor apart­ment in an­other build­ing on the other side of a small court­yard also has bul­let holes through its win­dows, and one bul­let hole in the wall.

Cartwright, 30, said he’s plan­ning to move out.

“I can’t let my kid and my girlfriend be trau­ma­tized ev­ery time they come home... I have to pro­tect my fam­ily. That means get­ting out of here and get­ting them safe,” he said.

Calvin Cole and his girlfriend were in a base­ment apart­ment in the same build­ing as the shooter when the shots were fired Fri­day.

He said they hid in the apart­ment and stayed put un­til po­lice fi­nally came to get them out.

Cole said it’s some­thing he’ll never for­get.

“It’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be on the mind for a while. It’s go­ing to be fresh be­cause it’s a rare oc­cur­rence here in Fred­er­ic­ton. It makes me con­cerned heav­ily about my neigh­bour­hood,” he said.

Cole, 26, said he’s on sub­si­dized hous­ing and will move as soon as a new place can be found for him.

An­other tenant, who didn’t want to be iden­ti­fied, said she was in a base­ment apart­ment in an­other build­ing, and just stayed on the floor.

“The scari­est time was when the shoot­ing stopped,” she said. “You didn’t know when it was go­ing to start again, or where it would be com­ing from.”

The Cana­dian Red Cross is con­clud­ing its emer­gency pro­vi­sion of lodg­ing, meals and other sup­port to res­i­dents who were dis­placed by the shoot­ing.

Bill Lawlor, the New Brunswick di­rec­tor for the Red Cross, said res­i­dents are be­ing ad­vised to speak to coun­sel­lors and oth­ers as they re­turn to their apart­ments.

“Many of these peo­ple, you have to re­mem­ber, ei­ther heard or ac­tu­ally saw this hap­pen. So it was a very trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence for them on that day, and they now have to re­turn to that very same scene,” he said.

On Mon­day evening, thou­sands of peo­ple turned out to ex­press their grief, hold hands and show sup­port for their city.

Jessica Mil­lier said she or­ga­nized Hands and Hearts Across the City as a way to bring peo­ple to­gether.

Peo­ple hold­ing hands were lined across the walk­ing bridge that spans the St. John River and along the walk­ing trails that hug the shore­lines on the north and south sides of the city.

“My city’s hurt, and they’re griev­ing, and they’re hurt deeply,” said Fred­er­ic­ton Mayor Mike O’Brien.

“This is a col­lec­tive grief, a col­lec­tive mourn­ing. And we will col­lec­tively heal,” he said.

Fred­er­ic­ton Po­lice say a reg­i­men­tal funeral “to cel­e­brate the lives of our fallen mem­bers” will be held on Satur­day at the University of New Brunswick.

An obit­u­ary for Burns said the 43-year-old mother of three boys ful­filled her life­long dream of be­com­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer three years ago, af­ter more than 14 years as a stay-at-home mom.

“Not a day would go by when she didn’t say aloud, for every­one to hear, ‘I love my job,”’ the obit­u­ary pub­lished on the McA­dam’s Funeral Home and Cre­ma­to­rium web­site said.

Lawlor said the Red Cross gained a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter the Monc­ton Moun­tie shoot­ings in 2014, and as­sisted the hun­dreds of po­lice and other first re­spon­ders who at­tended the reg­i­men­tal funeral. He says they will do the same this Satur­day.

“We are the sec­ond re­spon­ders in these types of in­ci­dents, but we have great re­spect for the first re­spon­der com­mu­nity, so it will be our great priv­i­lege to sup­port them dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” Lawlor said.

Wright is re­mem­bered as a com­pas­sion­ate per­son who “loved to as­sist oth­ers” in an obit­u­ary pub­lished by Car­leton Funeral Home and Cre­ma­to­rium in Jack­sonville, near Wood­stock, N.B.

“Af­fec­tion­ately known as ‘bub­bles’, those that had the hon­our of know­ing her well knew this de­scribed her per­fectly,” it said.

The obit­u­ary said Wright grad­u­ated from Can­ter­bury High School in 2003 and from New Brunswick Com­mu­nity Col­lege with a diploma in med­i­cal of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2008. She had pre­vi­ously worked on a tree farm, catered and worked in an of­fice be­fore em­bark­ing on a ca­reer as a home sup­port worker.

A pub­lic visi­ta­tion was set for Wed­nes­day be­tween 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., al­though there will be no funeral ser­vice by re­quest.

An obit­u­ary for Ro­bichaud said he is sur­vived by a wife and three chil­dren, and there will be no visi­ta­tion or funeral, in keep­ing with his wishes.

Matthew Vin­cent Ray­mond, 48, was charged with four counts of first-de­gree mur­der. He is set to ap­pear in court on Aug. 27.

CP PHOTO

Mourn­ers join hands as thou­sands of peo­ple gather to re­mem­ber last week’s shoot­ing vic­tims by join­ing hands on the Bill Thorpe Walk­ing Bridge in down­town Fred­er­ic­ton on Mon­day.

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