Moncton residents struggling to return to normal as grief sets in
After spending more than 24 hours on edge, the city of Moncton is starting to return to normal.
The city virtually shut down for more than a day as police searched for a man suspected of killing three RCMP officers and wounding two others.
Schools, government offices and businesses were closed Thursday as close to 300 officers scoured the city in search of suspected shooter Justin Bourque. Many residents were also told to stay inside their homes and lock their doors.
But the city was breathing a sigh of relief Friday, after police arrested Bourque without incident shortly after midnight.
Codiac Transpo buses were back on the road Friday and many businesses reopened, but as Moncton residents try to move forward, they acknowledge things may never be the same again.
“They’re relieved, they’re happy, they’re sad,” says bakery manager Susan Bransfield. “We had a lady in this morning. Her son is an RCMP officer dealing with this situation and she was visibly shaken.”
Like hundreds of other businesses in Moncton, Bransfield’s Bakery was closed Thursday. It reopened Friday and Janet McCleary and her sons were among those visiting the bakery.
McCleary says she is still shaken by the tragic shootings and the massive manhunt and feels it may be difficult to get back to normal.
As she tries to return to her daily routine, she is mindful of the losses others have suffered.
“We have three families that have lost their father, and that they now have to go on, and so, after the funerals and all the hub-bub…we still need to be there and to support them, because they were here when we needed them the most,” says McCleary.
“When a city such as Moncton has fallen victim to something that is so abhorrent that none of us could have anticipated, that we need to take this as an opportunity to consider how we are going to take that back as a community and rebuild the city,” says Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc.
Schools and some government offices remained closed Friday. All schools and government offices are expected to reopen Monday.
The Moncton Hospital never closed, but elective surgeries and clinics were cancelled. The hospital is now rescheduling postponed procedures.
As for suspected shooter Justin Bourque, he is facing three charges of first-degree murder and two charges of attempted murder.
He was remanded to appear in court July 3 after the Crown and defence asked for a month to prepare. Neither the Crown nor defence recommended a psychiatric assessment at this time.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell