National News

Man charged in RCMP deaths was paranoid: dad

By Melanie Patten, The Canadian Press

MONCTON, N.B. - Just days before three Mounties were gunned down and two others wounded in Moncton, N.B., the man accused in the shootings was ranting against authority and growing paranoid, says his father.

The comments are contained in an affidavit signed by Victor Bourque that was filed Thursday in provincial court.

His son, Justin Bourque, faces three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He has not entered pleas on the charges.

The two-page affidavit provides a view of the man accused of holding police at bay during a 30-hour manhunt last month that put much of the city under a virtual siege.

In the document, Victor Bourque said he did not notice any serious mental or emotional problems with his son until about 18 months ago when he said Justin Bourque's condition began deteriorating.

The affidavit was used by Justin Bourque's lawyer in court Thursday to request a psychiatric assessment for his client, which was granted by Judge Irwin Lambert.

"I have met extensively with the father and to a lesser degree with the mother," said defence lawyer Lutz. "I'm aware of the circumstances that led up to this horrific incident and I feel based upon my experience that this is an appropriate case (for an assessment), based on the content of the affidavit."

The document contains assertions by Victor Bourque that have not been proven in court, but in it he says his 24-year-old son went from living with his parents and six siblings in Moncton to buying a gun, getting kicked out of the house, and becoming depressed and paranoid.

"We were a very close-knit family until Justin was asked by his mother and me to leave the home," he said. "His inappropriate behaviour and his purchase of yet another gun prompted our request."

Victor Bourque said things only got worse after that. During his visits home, he said his son appeared seriously depressed and was emotionally and financially unstable.

"Often, he would pace back and forth while talking about things that made no sense to me or other members of the family," said Bourque.

Bourque said he was unable to reason with his son or calm him down while giving him a drive to work about two days before the shootings.

"He was ranting and raging against all authority and concerning himself with matters which were well beyond his control and some issues not even relating to Canada," he said.

"This behaviour I can only describe as paranoia."

The day of the shootings, Victor Bourque said he was with his son about 2 1/2 hours before shots rang out in Moncton's north end. Justin Bourque told his father he was going to work but his employer called to say he never showed up.

Bourque said that's when he reached out to his son.

"I called him to ask why he lied to me — he was distant and disrespectful to me on the telephone," he said. "He hung up on me. He had never spoken to me in this fashion before. His tone was very dry and as if it was another person speaking."

Justin Bourque is scheduled to return to court July 31 following his psychiatric assessment at the Shepody Healing Centre in Dorchester, N.B.

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 on June 4.

Two other RCMP officers — constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen — were wounded and later released from hospital.

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