“There’s no question this will bring closure,” Sgt. Al Carroll of the Cumberland RCMP said. “This case has worked through the process and it was done correctly. Now we can move on. This brings an end to it, but the hurt will never go away.”
Judge David Smith of the Court of Queen’s Bench in New Brunswick brought down a precedent-setting ruling on Friday afternoon for the June 4 rampage that killed three Moncton RCMP officers and wounded two others.
Bourque, 24, apologized to the families of those he shot during the sentencing phase earlier in the week.
The life sentences without parole eligibility for 75 years is the harshest sentence delivered in Canada since the last executions in 1962.
The Crown had argued for a maximum sentence of 75 yearas while the defence countered with 50 years.
Bourque had earlier pleaded guilty to killing constables David Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche and wounding constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen.
The shootings resulted in a 28-hour manhunt that left much of the city of Moncton paralyzed out of fear before his arrest just after midnight on June 6.
Carroll said the officers who went to Moncton after the incidents have been responding well to the emotional trauma they faced there. He said all officers appreciated the outpouring of support that followed.
The need to be cautious was further driven home last week when a gunman shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo as he was standing guard at the national war memorial in Ottawa.
“While our officers have always been vigilant on the job, I believe what’s happened recently and several months ago in Moncton has changed a lot of us so that we’re even more vigilant and even more aware of our surroundings when going out on a call,” Carroll said. “We wear a uniform and go do a job that sometimes places us at risk. It’s the job we do every day and the risk is there with it.”
RCMP Assistant Commissioner for New Brunswick Roger Brown said June 4 will always be a day remembered for the loss of three officers.
“We can never lose sight of the fact that while they were excellent police officers committed to keeping their community safe, they were also exemplary husbands, fathers, sons and brothers. The investigation resulted in one man being guilty of these murders and also the attempted murders of Const. Eric Dubois and Const. Darlene Goguen. That individual has now been sentenced for his crimes,” Brown said in a statement.
“I’ve been asked by reporters for my reaction to that. What can one say? I am glad that the accused accepted responsibility for his horrific actions and pleaded guilty, sparing the family a long emotional trial. But like any crime, you can’t undo the damage inflicted on the victims and in this case, there are many. My heart still goes out to their families, to all who worked alongside them, to the community, and to everyone who has been affected.”