Memorial design and Musical Ride to mark anniversary of Mountie shootings

MONCTON, N.B. — One year ago today the peace of a spring evening in a Moncton, N.B., neighbourhood turned to terror when a gunman opened fire on police officers, leaving three Mounties dead and two injured.

Today the final design of a memorial to Constables David Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Doug Larche will be unveiled during a noon-hour ceremony in front of Moncton City Hall.

Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc said it will be a time to reflect on the tragic events of June 4, 2014.

“We’ll talk about that day and where we are now,” LeBlanc said.

The wives of the three fallen officers are expected to take part in the ceremony, along with representatives of the RCMP and the federal and provincial governments.

The federal budget, tabled in April, allocated up to $1 million for the memorial, which will be placed in a waterfront park.

LeBlanc said it will cost less than that.

“We expect something in the range of $750,000 total and that will be shared with the federal government taking 50 per cent of that cost and the province and the city dividing the remainder 50-50,” he said.

Moncton saw an outpouring of emotion in the days and weeks following the shootings. Often people were lining up to hug police officers, shake their hand, or just thank them for their duty.

LeBlanc said no one expected such a tragedy could ever happen in their city, but residents have taken a positive view.

“The community has changed for the positive in the way that it has pulled together and determined that we’re not going to let these criminal violent acts decide how we were going to react as a community,” he said.

The neighbourhood where the shootings occurred recently held an event, planting 100 trees.

“The events are still quite vivid in people’s minds,” said Moncton City Coun. Charles Leger. “A large number of trees were planted…residents are really trying to move forward but also understanding that they want to make sure that we never forget.”

Tonight, the RCMP Musical Ride will pay tribute to the fallen officers with a free performance at the Magnetic Hill concert site in Moncton.

The performance is being done in partnership with the City of Moncton as a way to thank residents for their support during the past year.

Justin Bourque was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

 

The Canadian Press