NEWS
08/18/2018 09:32 EDT | Updated 08/19/2018 14:45 EDT

Thousands Gather At Funeral For Slain Fredericton Officers

Constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns were gunned down in Fredericton last week.

Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Members of the Fredericton Police Force place medals, hat and ceremonial belt on Constable Robb Costello's casket at the funeral on Aug. 18, 2018.

FREDERICTON — Drizzle rained down in New Brunswick's capital, the grey weather mirroring the gloom that has taken over the small city of nearly 60,000.

Hundreds of people lined the route of a funeral procession to honour two police officers gunned down in Fredericton last week in an attack that also left two civilians dead.

Thousands of police officers and first responders from across North America are also in Fredericton to attend the funeral of Constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, who died along with Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud.

The families of the fallen officers took their seats at the Aitken Centre on the campus of the University of New Brunswick, where about 4,000 people attended the funeral service, which was closed to the public.

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included a massed band, several police motorcycles, and Grimsby, a 10-year-old police horse co-owned by Burns and Const. Stefan Decourcey.

Several dignitaries were also in attendance, including the lieutenant-governor Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau, Premier Brian Gallant and Fredericton Mayor Mike O'Brien.

Steven Burns fought back tears as he delivered an emotional speech about his wife to thousands of people attending a regimental funeral in the New Brunswick capital. He shared that she had lived in Fredericton since she was seven, and was "proud beyond her words to be a city of Fredericton police officer."

Your mother is always with you... Nothing on earth can separate you, not time, not space, not even death.Steven Burns, husband of Constable Sara Burns

He said she was the most beautiful and caring woman he ever met, and asked the surviving Fredericton officers at the funeral to not feel any guilt after her death.

"She is at peace and knows you did everything to protect her," he added.

He wore a yellow tie — his wife's favourite colour — as he described her compassion and kindness. Matching yellow flowers were laid on his wife's casket.

To his children, Steven had a simple message. "Your mother is always with you... Nothing on earth can separate you, not time, not space, not even death."

Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Fredericton residents line the streets as the hearses carrying slain Fredericton Police officers Constable Sara Burns and Constable Robb Costello move slowly past on August 18, 2018.

Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the tragic deaths have shaken the small city to its core and "created a ripple effect that stretches out as far as the ocean is deep.''

At the end of the service, officers lifted the Canadian flags off of Costello's and Burns's caskets and carefully folded them to present to their families, along with their police hats.The lives of the other two victims were also honoured this week by their families and friends.

Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Jackie McLean lays a flower on the casket of her slain husband Constable Robb Costello as their children stand by on August 18, 2018.

A public visitation was held Wednesday evening for Wright at a funeral home near Woodstock, N.B., although her obituary said there would be no funeral service by request and her internment would be held at a later date.

Similarly, no funeral was held for Robichaud.

His widow Melissa Robichaud, told The Canadian Press that he had requested to be cremated and that she planned to scatter his ashes Thursday evening along a strip of road the avid motorcyclist had often biked along.

More from HuffPost Canada:

Forty-eight-year-old Matthew Vincent Raymond has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting, and is set to appear in court on Aug. 27.

On Friday a judge lifted a publication ban that had been imposed last Monday on court documents revealing details about how the deadly attack unfolded.

The ban came hours after several media outlets had already reported on what they contained.

The newly released documents say the alleged gunman was wounded as he allegedly engaged another officer from his apartment window.

With files from HuffPost Canada