Suspect charged in shooting spree that claimed three Canadian Mounties

Fri Jun 6, 2014 8:16pm EDT
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By Christinne Muschi

MONCTON New Brunswick (Reuters) - A 24-year-old man was charged with murder on Friday in the slayings of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers during a shooting spree in the eastern Canadian city of Moncton.

Justin Bourque, dressed in blue prison garb and under heavy guard, stood motionless in Moncton Provincial Court as a judge read out the charges, local media reported.

In addition to three counts of first-degree murder, Bourque was charged with the attempted murder of two other Mounties who were hurt in the attacks, police said in a statement. The rampage took place late on Wednesday.

Bourque was arrested just after midnight (0300 GMT) on Friday after a massive manhunt by police, who cordoned off a large area of Moncton, a city of about 70,000 people in the East Coast province of New Brunswick.

The shooting spree was one of the worst of its kind in Canada, where gun laws are stricter than in the United States and deadly attacks on police are rare.

Eyewitness Michelle Thibodeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp that after several police officers moved into her backyard, Bourque emerged from a patch of trees with his hands up and said, "I'm done."

The man was unarmed, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said, although weapons were found in the vicinity.

The three Mounties killed were identified as Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45; David Joseph Ross, 32, and Douglas James Larche, 40.   Continued...

A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick June 4, 2014 after several shots were fired in the area. REUTERS/Viktor Pivovarov/Times & Transcript/