A 24-year-old man who dressed like Rambo and went on a rampage through a Canadian city was arrested early Friday morning more than a full day after shooting five police officers and killing three of them, police said.
Police identified the suspect as Justin Bourque, whose Facebook page is littered with posts about guns, violence and his disdain for authority figures. He was taken into custody just after midnight local time, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Justin Bourque arrested by RCMP at 12:10 in Moncton. He is in police custody. Residents of north Moncton can now leave their homes.
— RCMP New Brunswick (@RCMPNB) June 6, 2014
The rampage began at about 7:20 p.m. local time Wednesday night in the city of Moncton, New Brunswick and Bourque was on the loose for more than 28 hours until he was finally arrested in the back yard of a local singer and actress.
One terrified family watched one of the shootings unfold from inside their home and posted the video to Facebook. (It’s embedded further down in this post.)
The attack came on what would have been the 35th birthday of Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer accused of killing three police officers last year and leading cops on one of the largest manhunts in history before killing himself in a standoff with police.
At a news conference Friday morning, officials identified the three officers killed as 32-year-old Dave Ross, 45-year-old Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and 40-year-old Douglas James Larche.
Ross, a married father whose wife is pregnant with the couple’s second child, was identified by his mother-in-law earlier Friday morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bourque Told a Former Co-Worker He Wanted to ‘Go Out With a Bang’
Caitlin Isaac, who used to work with Bourque at a local Walmart, told Business Insider that Bourque told her he wanted to “go out with a bang and take people with him.”
According to Isaac, Bourque, who was fired from the job for “attitude-related” reasons, also said he wanted to “give people something to remember him for.”
Mike Campbell, who has known Bourque since he was 2 years old was Bourque’s best friend growing up, told Business Insider he recently had a bizarre exchange with Bourque, who had stopped by Campbell’s house to offer his condolences on the death of Campbell’s father.
“I told him, ‘Get hold of me later.’ And he was like, ‘I don’t know. You take care, Mike. You have a good life.’
And I said, ‘No, man really. You’re not going to come visit me? Come over any time, I’ll be here.’
And he was like, ‘That probably won’t be able to happen….’ I was kind of weirded out by it. A few weeks alter all this crazy nonsense happened…
Campbell told the site he had been close with Bourque when the two were younger, but the two stopped hanging out regularly because Bourque’s parents thought Campbell was too competitive at sports like street hockey.
Campbell said Bourque was brought up in a religious Christian household and homeschooled his entire life. He had recently quit his job at a grocery store and was living in a trailer park.
Campbell said he was saddened to see Bourque’s sisters being pulled out of their house by armed cops and asked to put their hands over their heads.
“I don’t feel bad for him but his family is the best people I’ve ever known,” he told the website.
2. Bourque’s Facebook Page Is Littered With Violence-Themed Posts
On his Facebook page, Bourque frequently posted status updates about his pro-gun views and opinions about illuminati conspiracies. Just prior to the rampage, Bourque posted the lyrics to the Megadeath song “Hook in Mouth.”
Lyrics in the song, which spell out “Freedom” in acronym form, were directed at the Parents Music Resource Center. Most of Bourque’s Facebook posts are anti-police and pro-gun.
On April 15, Matt De Grood was accused of killing five people during an end-of-year college party in the Calgary suburb of Brentwood. His final Facebook post also quoted Megadeath lyrics:
3. Bourque Was Dressed Like Rambo & Heavily Armed
Bourque was wearing military fatigues and was considered heavily armed and dangerous, cops said. He was spotted in various locations Wednesday night armed with at least two rifles, along with other weapons. Cops believe he also had a large amount of ammunition.
Police began Thursday searching for Bourque in Moncton’s Pinehurst Subdivision, where they thought Bourque may have been holed up in the woods.
Police said Bourque was spotted Thursday morning after daylight but cops were unable to apprehend him. The suspect was seen at about 7:30 a.m. local time, and that was the last time he was positively identified. Cops also had two other unconfirmed reports that Bourque had been spotted in the morning.
Cops got a tip that Bourque may have been holed up in a building in Moncton’s commercial district Thursday afternoon, but after an array of officers surrounded the building and spent more than an hour there, officers determined Bourque wasn’t in the building.
Bourque was not on police’s radar prior to the rampage, officials said.
Cops said they initially received a call Wednesday night from a person who spotted a man walking around with a run. When officers responded, Bourque began shooting.
It’s not clear where Bourque got his weapons. CBC reporter Bobbi Jean-MacKinnon tweeted that Worlds End Warehouse, a local gun store, has no record of Bourque being a customer, although some of the store’s employees knew him.
Moncton-area gun store, Worlds End Warehouse says suspect “known personally by employees” but never a customer/never purchased firearms/ammo
— Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon (@BJMCBC) June 5, 2014
Officials at Moncton Hospital said in a news conference that the two officers in surgery had non-life-threatening injuries. They would not comment on the nature of the injuries to the officers who were killed. Watch the video of the news conference below:
4.Part of the Rampage Was Caught on Video by a Terrified Family
Moncton residents looked on in horror as the rampage unfolded, and one family posted a graphic video on Facebook of the family witnessing one of the shootings while looking out their window. You can watch the video above.
The rampage brought to a halt a bustling city of about 70,000 that is typically one of the most vibrant in the region. Moncton, nicknamed the “Hub City” because of its central location in the Maritime Provinces, is the third biggest city in New Brunswick and the 79th biggest in Canada. The city is about 300 miles northeast of the US border in Maine.
The stunning photos emerging from the rampage included the one below, of blood spilled on the street near a car a witness said belonged to an undercover police officer.
5. Bourque Surrendered in a Singer’s Back Yard & Told Cops ‘I’m Done’
He was in my backyard. I saw him arrested in front of my eyes. He is alive. Thank you #RCMPNB.
— michelle thibodeau (@YourMichelle) June 6, 2014
Michelle Thibodeau, whose Twitter and Facebook profiles describe her as a singer/songwriter/actress, tweeted that Bourque surrendered to a RCMP SWAT team in her back yard after cops surrounded the suspect and started screaming at him to surrender.
Thibodeau told reporters in Canada that the arrest happened after a truck full of RCMP officers pulled up to her house and the officers emerged in her back yard, closing in on Bourque and screaming at him to surrender. Bourque then put up his arms and said “I’m done” before being taken into custody.
Thibodea’s Facebook page says she’s spending the summer in Moncton performing at McSweeny’s Dinner Theatre in a show called Help from June to September.
She’s scheduled to play in a concert Sunday to benefit a school construction project in the Dominican Republic.