Moncton residents witness dramatic arrest of shooting suspect

Darrell Cole
Published on June 6, 2014


Anita Fitzsimmons was at home with husband last night when all heck broke lose two houses away.

"We knew something was going on because the helicopter was flying so low and there was an armoured vehicle driving around shining its light on the houses," she said. "We stepped outside and could hear the cops yelling and shouting. We were afraid all heck was about to break lose and went back inside."

What they saw was the dramatic arrest of 24-year-old Justin Bourque.

Bourque was taken into custody just after midnight. He's the sole suspect in the fatal shooting of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two others and is expected to appear in court in Moncton later today. Fitzsimmons said an officer told her Bourque was on his hands and knees and said he was done. Although she didn't see the arrest, Fitzsimmons said she was amazed by the restraint officers showed.

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Patrick Hebert returned to his home Friday after being stuck at a friend's place nearby. He said he was worried for his parents but talked to them on the phone.

"We're all glad it's over," he said. "Hopefully things can return to normal." He called the incident "unsettling" and not something you'd expect in Moncton. "Everyone on was definitely on edge," Hebert said. "Crime happens but this is a big jump."

Eldon Hayden missed the excitement. He was asleep when the arrest happened, but was stuck in his house for two days.

"We managed. We watched a lot of TV and spent time on the computer," Hayden said. Hayden said he never lost faith that the police would find Bourque.

"You can't help but be concerned when this is happening, but our police are professionals. They knew what they were doing."

Rachel Brothers, a Greenwood, Nova Scotia, native living in working in Moncton said she thinks the city will recover, but it will take time.

"RCMP have  done an exceptional job in a very, very difficult situation and, although there is a sense of relief, it will take our community time to regain the sense of safety and security that was there before this happened," Brothers said Friday, "but we will get there."

With files from