Tuesday, October 20, 2020
ADVT 
National

RCMP officers describe chaotic N.B. shooting scene

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 01 Oct, 2020
  • RCMP officers describe chaotic N.B. shooting scene

Members of an RCMP team who responded to a mass killing in Fredericton two years ago told jurors Thursday about the moment they entered the suspect's apartment and wrestled away his gun.

"I thought one of us was going to get shot," Cpl. Jean-Francois Comeau told the courtroom.

He was one of three officers who testified Thursday at the trial of Matthew Raymond, who is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and Fredericton police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, on Aug. 10, 2018.

The defence has admitted that Raymond, 50, killed the victims, who were shot in the parking lot of an apartment complex, but says he should be found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

The RCMP emergency response team was called to the scene at 237 Brookside Dr. after four victims had been killed by a shooter positioned in a third-floor apartment.

Cpl. Mark Simon told jurors that when he arrived to the scene, police had already used a sledge hammer to punch holes into the door of the shooter's apartment. He said he used a chainsaw to remove the door.

"Things were moving very fast," Simon told the court.

Cpl. Jeremy Harding testified that he deployed a robotic, camera-equipped vehicle inside the shooter's apartment with which he was able to see an image of the suspect on the floor and pointing a rifle towards the doorway.

"One hand was on the stock and the other was on the barrel," Harding told jurors.

He said officers were yelling from outside the apartment: "This is the police! We're outside in the hallway. Give yourself up. Drop the gun! Drop the gun!"

Harding said he was aware of the risk to his own life. He said he positioned his body against an outside wall so his body armour would, "soak up any rounds that were fired at me from the apartment."

Harding said he saw on the video monitor that the suspect was trying to throw items at the robot. He said Raymond took his hands off the gun, and that's when he instructed other officers to storm the apartment.

Comeau told the jury he and other officers climbed over debris used to barricade the door and went into the living room.

"I saw the suspect still holding the rifle, turning it towards us," Comeau said. "The last thing I remember is seeing the gun barrel being pointed right to me."

He said he was holding his ballistic shield as he jumped on the suspect and started punching him in the head until other officers had the suspect restrained and the weapon removed.

"To my surprise he was still fighting us," Comeau told jurors.

Simon said he grabbed the rifle. Harding said Raymond appeared to be reaching for a "sizeable knife," but that he was able to get to it first.

The trial continues Thursday afternoon.

MORE National ARTICLES

Break and enter at a Surrey residence leads to large drug seizure

Break and enter at a Surrey residence leads to large drug seizure

As the investigation in the break and enter progressed, officers located a large quantity of drugs and cash inside the residence.

Break and enter at a Surrey residence leads to large drug seizure

Coquitlam man faces additional sex assault charges

Coquitlam man faces additional sex assault charges

They say Raymond Howard Gaglardi has been charged with six counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation in addition to six previous charges laid in July.

Coquitlam man faces additional sex assault charges

B.C. urban mayors release calls to action

B.C. urban mayors release calls to action

Members of the B.C. Urban Mayors' Caucus say municipalities are bearing the brunt of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial challenges are putting the long-term sustainability of some critical services at risk.

B.C. urban mayors release calls to action

Horgan pledges $1.4 billion long-term care plan

Horgan pledges $1.4 billion long-term care plan

He promised a $1.4-billion, 10-year plan Wednesday to revamp elder care after the COVID-19 pandemic showed vulnerabilities in the system for people living in care facilities.

Horgan pledges $1.4 billion long-term care plan

2020 Writers' Trust award finalists revealed

2020 Writers' Trust award finalists revealed

The finalists are Lorna Crozier, Steven Heighton, Jessica J. Lee, Tessa McWatt and David A. Neel.

2020 Writers' Trust award finalists revealed

Study compares LTC deaths in B.C. to Ontario

Study compares LTC deaths in B.C. to Ontario

As of Sept. 10, Ontario reported 1,817 resident deaths from COVID-19, compared to 156 deaths in B.C. The number of cases among LTC residents in Ontario totaled nearly 6,000 compared to 466 in B.C.

Study compares LTC deaths in B.C. to Ontario

PrevNext