FREDERICTON — Mourners continue to add flowers, notes and teddy bears to the memorial outside Fredericton's police headquarters Monday, as the usually placid New Brunswick capital grapples with the shooting deaths of four people, including two officers.
People dropped off coffee and snacks for officers, while others handed out cookies in the midst of the emotional crime scene at a north-side apartment complex.
Friday morning's shooting claimed the lives of Bobbie Lee Wright, Donnie Robichaud, and responding officers Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns.
Outside police headquarters, people stopped to sign a giant Canadian flag hanging outside the station or add to the growing memorial of flowers, cards, and messages that has been building since Friday.
Nancy Slade, back home for a visit from Petawawa, Ont., came to lay sunflowers with her six-year-old daughter, Molly, and three-year-old son, Dane.
Slade, the daughter of a Fredericton police officer who was friends with Costello, said she wants her kids to understand the sacrifice made by officers.
"It's just not supposed to happen here," she said, her voice catching. "It's never happened here, so it's just really hard."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his son, Hadrien, went Sunday to police headquarters to lay flowers at the memorial and offer words of solidarity.
Police chief Leanne Fitch issued a statement on Sunday thanking the public for their support over the past few days.
At Fredericton city hall Monday, a steady trickle of visitors arrived to sign books of condolences for the fallen police constables.
Many left in tears after seeing the simple display, which featured photos of the officers set next to two candles and a bouquet of white flowers.
Jane Abernathy, who lives in Fredericton, said she felt compelled to show her respect.
"Such a senseless tragedy, we never want this to happen again," she said. "It was the least I could do, to sign my name."
A public event planned for Monday evening, Hands and Hearts Across the City, asked residents to meet and join hands on the walking bridge spanning the St. John River as a tribute to the victims.
Matthew Vincent Raymond has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder. The 48-year-old is set to appear in court on Aug. 27.
A Fredericton business owner who knew Raymond described him as a "lonely person" who spent much of his time cycling and playing first-person shooter video games.
Brendan Doyle, the former owner of the recently closed Read's Newsstand & Cafe in Fredericton, said he also asked Raymond to stop frequenting his coffee shop after he allegedly expressed Islamophobic views and shared his dislike for Syrian refugees with patrons.
"He'd been coming in on almost daily for a coffee since 2010 and often stayed for an hour or two on the patio in the evenings," Doyle said in a Facebook message Sunday evening to The Canadian Press.
"While in the cafe, Matt also looked at magazines about bikes and about guns," Doyle said. "He expressed an interest in owning the various high-end bikes in the magazines, but his interest in guns seemed to be related to his video games."
He said Raymond had been coming in almost daily for coffee from 2010 up until 2017, when Doyle asked him to find coffee somewhere else.
"His discussions with fellow customers and staff turned more political around the same time we had an influx of Syrian refugees into the city," Doyle said.
"I saw him one weekend in front of city hall with a sandwich board sign that said 'No Sharia,' and other anti-Islamic sentiments."
He said he spoke to Raymond to determine how extreme his views were.
"I determined he was ignorant and misinformed," Doyle said. "He really just seemed to be parroting the talking points from some videos he's seen."
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Raymond previously worked at an Atlantic Superstore grocery on the city's south side, the company confirmed Monday.
"I can confirm only that he is a former employee with Atlantic Superstore. He was an employee a number of years ago," said spokesman Mark Boudreau.
Fredericton police have announced that a regimental funeral "to celebrate the lives of our fallen members" will be held on Saturday at the University of New Brunswick.
His discussions with fellow customers and staff turned more political around the same time we had an influx of Syrian refugees into the city.Brendan Doyle, local business owner
An obituary for Burns said the 43-year-old mother of three boys fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a police officer three years ago, after more than 14 years as a stay-at-home mom.
"Not a day would go by when she didn't say aloud, for everyone to hear, 'I love my job,'" the obituary published on the McAdam's Funeral Home and Crematorium website said.
An obituary for Robichaud said he is survived by a wife and three children, and there will be no visitation or funeral, in keeping with his wishes.
— With files from Keith Doucette and Brett Bundale