Thousands expected for RCMP funerals
MONCTON, N.B.—The city of Moncton is preparing to welcome thousands of police officers from across Canada as it plans an RCMP regimental funeral service tomorrow for the three Mounties shot dead last week in the line of duty.
Organizers say they estimate 7,000-8,000 police officers will attend the funeral at the Moncton Coliseum, which will be preceded by an RCMP parade.
The city has set up at least five other sites where people can gather to mourn due to the number of people expected to attend.
Residents also have been asked to volunteer their homes as billets for travelling police officers.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov.-Gen. David Johnston are expected to attend.
Gevaudan, Larche, and Ross were gunned down last Wednesday evening after responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential neighbourhood in the northwest area of Moncton.
Two other officers—Csts. Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen—were wounded and have been released from hospital.
The shootings and the ensuing 30-hour manhunt for the alleged killer brought the city to a standstill until an arrest was made just after midnight Friday.
Schools reopened today and counselling services were made available to students, said Gregg Ingersoll, the superintendent for the Anglophone East School Board.
“It’s going to take us a little while to get back to that sense that everything is going to be OK,” Ingersoll said.
The public also was invited to express their sympathies today at the Wesleyan Celebration Centre, and books of condolence were set up at various city halls and RCMP detachments throughout New Brunswick.
Gevaudan, 45, originally of the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, was remembered in his obituary as an advocate of women’s rights who adored his wife and “Twin Flame,” Angela, and stepdaughter, Emma.
“While he died protecting the lives of the individuals in his community, his spirit tells us he died as he lived—a happy man,” it says.
The obituary for Larche, 40, of Saint John, N.B., says he died while working as a plainclothes officer who “without fear or hesitation ran towards danger to protect his community and family.”
He leaves behind his wife, Nadine, and three daughters and “little princesses,” Alexa, Laura, and Mia.
Ross’ obituary says the 32-year-old dog handler died doing what he loved.
He is survived by his wife, Rachael, and son, Austin, with another child expected in the fall.
Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton is facing three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
He made a brief appearance in provincial court Friday and is scheduled to return to court July 3.