MONCTON, New Brunswick — A man suspected of gunning down three Royal Canadian Mounted Police was caught and charged yesterday, ending a 30-hour manhunt that closed schools and forced residents to hide inside their homes of this eastern Canadian city. “I’m done,” a witness heard him tell police.
Police said at a press conference that they received a tip that led them to a wooded residential part of Moncton, New Brunswick, where they found 24-year-old Justin Bourque, suspected in the deadliest attack on Canada’s national police force in nearly a decade.
Armed with high-powered long firearms, Bourque was spotted three times Thursday as he evaded the manhunt that all but shut down the normally tranquil city about of about 60,000 people east of the Maine border. Nearly 300 police officers searched for Bourque, who was seen going in and out of a wooded area.
RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman said Bourque was arrested at 12:10 a.m. She said he wasn’t carrying any weapons, but some were found nearby.
Michelle Thibodeau said she saw the man in the front yard of her home and heard him say, “I’m done,” before his arrest by officers with guns drawn.
Bearded and shaggy-haired, Bourque made a brief court appearance yesterday afternoon, where he was charged with three counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. In aqua-colored jail clothes, he stared ahead intently, clearly paying attention but showing little emotion. He nodded when the judge said his name.
He will be back in court July 3 as he seeks a lawyer. A court appointed legal aid attorney represented him yesterday.
Prosecutors say they were not requesting a psychiatric evaluation, seeing no need for one. The defense agreed.
There was a high-level security at the appearance, including officers with drawn weapons outside the courtroom.