By David F. Rooney
From Ottawa to Revelstoke community leaders have reacted with grief and anger to the slaying of three Mounties and the wounding of two by accused lone gunman Justin Bourque.
“First and foremost my thoughts are with the families of those dead officers,” MP David Wilks, a former general duty RCMP officer, told The Revelstoke Current, when he took a break from sitting in The House of Commons on Thursday evening.
“I went to Mayerthorpe (the Alberta community where four officers were killed in 2005 as they executed a search warrant) and I’ll go to Moncton, too. It’s the least I can do to show my respect.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have now released the names of the dead. They are:
- Const. David Ross, a 32-year-old dog handler with the force;
- Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45; and
- Const. Douglas James Larche, 40.
Ross was from Victoriaville, Que. Gevaudan was originally from Boulogne-Billancourt in France and Larche was from Saint John, NB.
Wounded officers Constables Darlene Goguen and Eric Dubois, are recovering from their injuries. Bourque surrendered to RCMP officers late Thursday night.
“Our thoughts are with RCMP officers across the country,” said MLA Norm Macdonald. “All of the men and women who serve will be impacted by these events. It reminds us, too, of the extremely difficult job we ask of them.”
Day-in, day-out they deal with the drunks, the rapists, abusers, the drug-addicted and the violent people in Canadian society, he said.
“We all need to take time and think about that,” Macdonald said.
Revelstoke Mayor David Raven, too, was thinking of the dead and wounded and their families, too.
“On behalf of the city, our hearts bleed for those dedicated officers and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting our society,” he said Friday morning, June 6. “We are blessed to have the dedicated RCMP officers who serve and protect our community. Our prayers go with them and their families.”
Events such as this should be a wakeup call for the general public, said former MP Jim Abbott.
“It’s horrible occurrences like this that should make us all re-think our attitude toward our police force,” he said. “They are the ones running toward a disaster.”
But there is anger mixed with the grief, too.
Wilks characterized Bourque as a “gutless piece of shit (and) police-hater” who ambushed his victims in a residential area in North Moncton.
“He shot the first one and then waited for the backup,” he said. “Then he ambushed them.”
While it’s not likely to happen, Wilks wished the law still allowed executions for those who kill police officers. That’s a sentiment that is likely being echoed — at least for a while — across the country.