On June 4, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, Justin Bourque, a troubled 24-year-old, went on a violent shooting rampage through the city’s streets. By doing so, he took the lives of constables Dave Ross, 32, Fabrice Gevaudan, 45 and Doug Larche, 40, while injuring Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen with the same act.
Bourque, who is now 25, is “serving a life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 75 years. It is the most stringent sentence handed down in Canada since the last execution in 1962,” as City News reminds.
Reasons for Bourques’s fatal spree have been unclear, yet newly released court-ordered documents unveil information about the mental state of the young man. Bourque was subject to a court-ordered psychiatric report and a pre-sentence report to give some indication of his “family history, social interests and the moment he reached ‘his breaking point’ before he opened fire on RCMP officers in Moncton.”
The Canadian Press along with other media members asked for allowance to view exhibits acquired to sentence Bourque after he pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Within these documents revealed was the said psychiatric report.
The assessment did find that Justin was fit to stand trial and of sound mind, yet shed light on a home environment that aided in solidifying Bourques’s negative feelings towards authorities. City News recounts the document’s details as compiled by Dr. Moses A. Alatishe.
“He felt he grew up in a ‘religious fanatic’ environment believing he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, The assessment says an older friend taught him how to shoot when he was 15 years of age. He said he became gun crazy at this age…In that same report, Bourque’s parents Victor and Denise tell a probation officer that they noticed a ‘dramatic change’ in their son in December 2013, when he became increasingly vocal about his dislike for police and “established societal norms.”
Victor Bourque also gave details of incidents which occurred in years leading up to the fatal day stating “he persisted in bringing home guns after being warned not to,[I] told him people who think like that are in jail.” In 2012, as CBC indicates, Victor Bourque admitted to kicking his son out of their home due to these continued behaviours
The report proceeded to note Bourque’s chronic addiction to marijuana which had developed at the age of 22; an addiction which Bourque stated allowed him to cope with his negative feelings and inner turmoil. However, just prior to the day Justin went on the deadly rampage the documents reveal that he was unable to have access to marijuana thus leading to his horrendous actions claiming, “Mr. Justin Bourque was in an emotional turmoil, disillusioned and confused from sleep deprivation and probably also withdrawing from marijuana (THC).”
This apparent disillusioned, confused and sleep-deprived state caused Bourque to commit the unthinkable act which took the lives of three, produced a two day manhunt and a wave of fear and panic to run rampant throughout the city of Moncton.
This blind-rage affected the lives of many and although Bourque displayed slight remorse which is evident in the report by Dr. Alatishe in which he noted in Bourque’s words, “There is no day I don’t think that I ruined many lives” those lives remain ruined.
As stated, Justin Bourque received the most stringent sentence in Canada since 1962 and will not be eligible for parole for 75 years.
[Feature image courtesy of The Week News, UK]