Person of interest: What we know about Justin Bourque
Police are scouring the city of Moncton, N.B. for a man sought in the fatal shootings of three RCMP officers. Here’s what we know about Justin Bourque.
Police responded to a call about “a man wearing camouflage and bearing firearms in the north part of Moncton” at approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Mounties have since identified Justin Bourque as a person of interest in the shootings that occurred when police arrived, leaving three officers dead and another two with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police also distributed a photo they say shows Bourque walking in Moncton Wednesday, wearing army-style camouflage and carrying two guns.
“We are actively searching for him," Codiac RCMP Const. Damien Theriault told CTV News Channel overnight. "He is believed to be armed and dangerous, and people should avoid contact with him.”
Beyond saying Bourque is 24-years-old, however, police have not released any other details about him.
An active Facebook page that appears to belong to a Justin Bourque in Moncton, N.B. features several pro-gun and anti-police photos and rants. Many of the posts are meme photos with text written on them. “Free men do not ask permission to bear arms,” says one photo, with an image of Revolutionary War fighters on it. Another image shows a handgun and bullets with following text: “I will help you: 1. Shop for your first firearm 2. Learn firearm safety 3. Train with your firearm 4. Find ammo, mags and parts FREE.” Another post shows the wages for various politicians, including the prime minister, compared to the income for active soldiers and soldiers on pensions.
“Ask yourself, would you fight for the future of your children or grandchildren, or your family and friends and sons and daughters?” says a post from April 7. “The answer is: no you’re too stupid to know what to fight for, cause we’re already losing the silent war you don’t wanna believe is happening.”
A post from approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday shows comedian Dave Chappelle and a quote: “You ever notice a cop will pull you over for a light out, but if your car is broke down they drive right past you?”
It has not been confirmed that the page belongs to the man police are seeking in connection with the Moncton shootings.
After CTV Atlantic reached out to some of Bourque’s friends online, Tim Doucette responded by saying he’s in “disbelief.”
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved as well as the slain officers’ families and colleagues, as well as Justin’s family as it is equally hard on them at this time,” he said.
Doucette added that since he moved to Alberta, he had lost touch with Bourque but recently started talking to him again.
“Nothing led me to believe this would happen,” he said.
Kerry Fitzpatrick, a former neighbour and co-worker at Kent Building Supplies back in 2010, said that he was shocked.
"He was a perfectly normal guy," he said in a phone interview. "Never thought that anything was wrong with him. This has taken me by surprise."
In a Facebook message, childhood friend Mike Campbell said he has not talked to Bourque in a couple of years, but praised the suspect’s family.
“His family are amazing people…some of the best people you’d ever meet,” he said.
The last post on Bourque’s Facebook page, made Wednesday evening, was a quote from metal band Megadeth.
“A little man with a big eraser, changing history, Procedures that he's programmed to, all he hears and sees. Altering the facts and figures, events and every issue. Make a person disappear, and no one will ever miss you. Rewrites every story, every poem that ever was,” a segment of the post says.
A YouTube video from a paintball tournament last year lists a Justin Bourque as a member of the Moncton Expendables a paintball team. But Stephen McIntyre, manager at Hurricane Paintball in Moncton, said the man in the video is not the shooting suspect. “I remember him,” McIntyre said. “Definitely not the same guy.”
Bourque is a former Wal-Mart employee but has not worked at the company since 2010, a Wal-Mart Canada spokesperson told CTV News.