The two police officers killed in a shooting in Fredericton Friday morning have been identified — one was a seasoned warhorse and the other a recent recruit.
Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch identified the dead officers as Lawrence Robb Costello, 45, a husband with four children, and Sara Mae Burns, 43, a wife with three children.
The shooting left two more people dead — both civilians, a man and woman — but police have not released their identities. The accused gunman, a 48-year-old Fredericton man, is in hospital. He has not been identified.
Costello, a detective known as Robb, worked on all manner of cases — from missing persons, robberies, street crimes, extortion, sex crimes — in Fredericton police’s major crimes unit and while seconded to the RCMP’s Internet child exploitation unit. He was a 20-year veteran of the force.
Det. Robb Costello.
In recent years, Costello drew the ire of local blogger and anti-police activist Charles LeBlanc. Costello and other fellow officers filed a criminal libel complaint against him over inflammatory internet postings and statements about the force. LeBlanc sued police saying Costello filed a request for information to LeBlanc’s internet service provider as part of a previous libel investigation that mistakenly stated it was a child sexual exploitation investigation.
In an online video posted soon after the shooting, LeBlanc said he was woken by a police officer wondering if he might have been involved in the shooting.
“I’m glad I’m not in Fredericton,” LeBlanc said. “Sympathies to everybody involved.”
Const. Sara Burns grew up in Fredericton and joined the local police force in 2015, soon after graduating from the Atlantic Police Academy.
Burns went into policing after earning a bachelor of arts degree from Fredericton’s St. Thomas University with a major in criminology in 2014, according to city records. She graduated Fredericton High School in 1994.
Earlier this year, Burns narrowly missed being hit by a knife thrown at her during a standoff with a barricaded man after three of her colleagues were hit with bear spray when entering an apartment.
‘This was a senseless tragedy’: Two police officers among four killed in Fredericton
“Our hearts are broken by the murder of our two brave police officers. In this time of shock and grief, let us all protect their families,” Fredericton’s mayor, Mike O’Brien, said on Twitter. “Two civilians also tragically lost their lives today. Our city sends its love and support to all. We grieve as one.”
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant also released a statement on Twitter.
“On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I offer my condolences, thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. During this difficult time, our thoughts are also with the courageous women and men on the front lines working to keep us safe,” Gallant said.
The Fredericton police force had an approved complement of 105 in 2017.
Source:: Nationalpost – News