People wait in line to hug RCMP officers following a candlelight vigil in front of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters in Moncton, New Brunswick June 6, 2014. Jeffrey Bourque 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. Christinne Muschi/Reuters
For hours they were told to stay home. Now, with a suspect behind bars, people in Moncton, N.B., are out in force to share their grief and support for the RCMP, which lost three of its own in a shocking shooting this week.
The Codiac Regional RCMP headquarters in Moncton continues to be a focal point.
People have been dropping off flowers, teddy bears and other items, including a hand-written note by a child thanking RCMP for stopping "the bad guy."
Traffic has been bumper-to-bumper as people drive by the building on Main Street to take a look.
Brendan Bird is proud to see such a turnout. He lives in the area that was under lockdown during the 30-hour manhunt.
"I think it's good and it shows how strong our community is and how supporting we are to our RCMP and thankful," he said.
Ashley Price brought a bouquet of flowers. She remembers when the shooting started.
"I was home alone at the time and I heard the gunshots. I didn't know what it was at first until I looked out the window and a cop motioned me to get away from the window and hide, so that's what I did," Price said.
Like so many people, Price still feels a sense of shock.
Three RCMP officers were shot and killed Wednesday night:
- Const. Dave Ross, 32.
- Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45.
- Const. Douglas James Larche, 40.
Two other officers, Const. Darlene Goguen and Const. Eric Dubois, were injured.
One church is planning what it calls a "community debriefing" Saturday night.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church will have counsellors on hand to help people throughout the community cope with the shocking events of the last few days.
"We're all having problem processing this," said church pastor Martin Kreplin. "We need each other."
Looking for clues
While people gathered to remember the fallen officers, RCMP searched for clues in the area where the suspect — Justin Bourque — was captured overnight Friday.
A few dozen Mounties were in the field and wooded area on Saturday.
It's another sign that the ordeal for the Mounties and the community is far from over.
The ordeal began Wednesday night after 7 p.m. AT when shots were fired on a residential street.
A large section of Moncton was locked down as police searched for the shooter. Horrified residents hunkered down and daily routines were abruptly put on hold.
Fear gripped the city. Hours turned into days as the manhuntfor Bourque continued. About 350 police officers, including many from around Canada, were involved.
Police arrested Bourque at 12:10 a.m. AT Friday. RCMP said he wasn't carrying any weapons, though some were found in the area where he was arrested.
Police were tipped off when someone called to report a suspicious man in a wooded area.
Bourque, 24, appeared in court in Moncton on Friday afternoon. He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Neither the Crown nor the court-assigned defence lawyer requested a psychiatric evaluation at this time.
Bourque remains in custody. He is due back in court on July 3.
Meanwhile, New Brunswick RCMP say funeral arrangements for the fallen officers are ongoing.
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