Friends of fallen Mountie cope with loss, celebrate life
One of the three Mounties killed in last week’s shooting in Moncton was a native Maritimer who made lifelong friends as a young man in Saint John.
Const. Douglas James Larche, 40, was shot and killed last week, along with Const. Dave Ross, 32, and Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45.
Larche’s Saint John friends, Const. Don Shannon and long-time friend Leo Howe, are now trying to cope with his tragic death. They say they are choosing to remember the good times, not the events of last week that took the life of their friend.
“He was witty, yeah. Very witty and very fast,” says Howe.
“You never got into a battle of wits with Doug. You were ill-equipped and you weren’t going to win,” says Shannon.
“Doug had a life of service and that’s what he was going to do. At 17, he joined the Reserves. Doug was a giving person.”
The trio attended St. Malachy’s Memorial High School in the early 1990s. After graduation, Howe worked with Larche at Fundy Cablevision, and the pair became roommates.
“Doug came over on Friday night and said ‘I’m gonna stay for a little while in your kitchen,’ He had his cot and…that was October and I think the following June, he was still in our kitchen,” says Howe.
As they grew older, Larche and Shannon went their separate ways. Shannon became a police officer with the Saint John Police Department while Larche followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Mountie.
Shannon has attended funerals for police officers in the past and will join thousands of other police officers at a regimental funeral service in Moncton Tuesday afternoon. He says this service will be different.
“They’re sad and they’re emotional, but the difference is I know him and spent time with him,” says Shannon. “That’s what I’m trying to wrap my head around. What my friend went through, that is every police officer’s worst nightmare.”
Larche leaves behind a wife, Nadine, and three daughters, aged 4, 8 and 9.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron