Canadian police charged a man Saturday for the deaths of two police officers and two civilians in a shooting that struck a nerve in a country that has been roiled in recent months by several instances of mass violence.
Police in the eastern city of Fredericton, New Brunswick said that Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
Horizon Health, which delivers care for New Brunswick’s Department of Health, said that Raymond was the only person being treated for injuries related to the shooting. He is due to appear in court August 27.
The victims have been identified as police Const. Robb Costello, 45, police Const. Sara Burns, 43, Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie-Lee Wright, 32.
Robichaud and Wright were in a relationship, according to Facebook and Robichaud’s cousin, Sean Callahan, who said they had just gotten together at the beginning of August.
Callahan told The Toronto Star that there was “nothing bad you can say about” Robichaud.
“When I got a message yesterday asking me if Donnie got shot, I was like, ‘Who in the hell would want to shoot Donnie Robichaud?'” He said.
No motive has been disclosed, and police said they were working to determine a link between the gunman and the couple.
Police said Costello and Burns were responding to calls of shots fired at an apartment complex and saw two deceased civilians before being shot and killed themselves.
Costello’s common-law partner, Jackie McLean, told The Star that Costello “loved being a police officer and he lived for being a police officer.”
She said he would frequently write people tickets, and be thanked by the people afterward.
Fredericton police Chief Leanne Fitch said Raymond used a long gun and was in an elevated position when he fired. Fitch said he was shot by police and was in serious but stable condition.
Judith Aguilar, an office manager for Sunfield Apartment Rentals, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that Raymond seemed “utterly normal to her. She told the Associated Press that he lived in the complex for about four months and was an avid cyclist who often came to pay his rent in cash while wearing a bike helmet.
“Sometimes you meet people and they can be aggressive or they can give you this weird vibe or something. He seemed utterly normal. It was very shocking,” she told CBC.
At one point, she said maintenance workers needed to do some work in his apartment and he didn’t want the workers there while he wasn’t present.
“He seemed concerned, he said he had an expensive computer and an expensive bike,” she said. “They didn’t even have to go all the way into the apartment, they were just fixing his doorframe at the time.”
Residents were stunned by the episode, which took place in a city of 60,000 that last saw a homicide in 2014.
But the shooting comes as Canada wrestles with a string of violence, including an instance in Toronto last month where a man with a handgun opened fire in a crowded part of the city, killing two people and wounding 13 before he died in the confrontation.