National News

Moncton shootings suspect fit to stand trial

Justin Bourque is shown in this artist
Justin Bourque is shown in this artist's sketch in Moncton on June 6, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carol Taylor
— image credit:

By Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

MONCTON, N.B. - A New Brunswick man charged with fatally shooting three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton has been found fit to stand trial and chose to be tried by judge and jury.

Justin Bourque, who faces three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, underwent a psychiatric assessment that concluded Bourque is competent and mentally fit for trial.

"Mr. Justin Bourque in my opinion does not meet the criteria for a defence of not criminally responsible," provincial court Judge Irwin Lampert said, reading aloud in court the assessment's conclusions.

Lampert ordered the document sealed at the request of defence lawyer David Lutz, who argued it would hamper Bourque's ability to receive a fair trial if the rest of its contents were made public.

Bourque, who sat quietly in the prisoners' dock during his brief court appearance Thursday, also elected to be tried by judge and jury before the Court of Queen's Bench, where his case will return on Aug. 8. He also waived his right to a preliminary inquiry.

Lutz and Bourque's father Victor declined comment as they left the courthouse.

Constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche were gunned down after responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential neighbourhood in the northwest area of Moncton on June 4.

Constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were wounded and later released from hospital.

Bourque was arrested following a manhunt that spanned 30 hours and brought the city of 69,000 to a virtual standstill.

Prior to his son's psychiatric assessment, Victor Bourque provided the court with a two-page affidavit that includes assertions not proven in court.

He said his son went from living with his parents and six siblings to buying a gun, getting kicked out of the house, and becoming depressed and paranoid.

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