PAJ Issue 3 NA


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Moncton stood by its police family in the wake of the tragedy. PHOTO: Frederic Serre There aren't too many days I remember as vividly as June 4, 2014. That evening after supper, I went upstairs to my office while my younger daughter started homework and my husband ran errands. Not long after my husband returned, my daughter shouted for us to check the news. There were reports of shots fired in the north end. Sure enough, social media sites were abuzz about a heavily-armed shooter. We set up what felt like a mini command post on the kitchen counter, our eyes glued to laptops trying to figure out what was going on. A lone shooter was apparently wreaking havoc just a few kilometres away and our street was near the police lockdown zone. Even though we were outside the perimeter, we closed our blinds and stayed indoors. I should mention I'm not the greatest in stressful situations. In fact, I'm currently writing a book about my struggles with anxiety. When news of the shootings broke last June, I tried to keep calm but my worry monster had other plans. I'd felt safe since we moved to the community 16 years earlier but now police officers — the very individuals who contributed in part to that sense of security — were being gunned down. "How can this be happening?" I wondered, pulse quickening. The panic levels inched upward as I tried to contact my older daughter about how she'd get home from work that night. With streets around us closed, it didn't seem a plausible trip. If she did drive, I (of course) feared the worst and envisioned her coming face to face with the shooter. Luckily, a friend whose daughter worked with mine returned both girls safely. My daughter has never been hugged so tightly. FAMILY 'HUNKERED DOWN TOGETHER' For the rest of Wednesday evening and a very long Thursday, my family hunkered down together, waiting for news updates and hoping for a swift resolution to the nightmare. When the shooter was detained and we could finally leave our homes, neighbours gathered to debrief, hug, cry … just breathe again. The days, weeks — even months — that followed were rough. The usual upbeat Maritime spirit was replaced by sadness, shock and anger. We grieved with the families and friends of the RCMP officers who gave their lives for our community, constables Dave Ross, Douglas Larche and Fabrice Gevaudan. We prayed for the injured, constables Darlene Goguen and Eric Dubois. Our thoughts turned to all first responders in- volved and anyone traumatized by the killer or his rampage. 39 w w w . p o l i c e a d v o c a t e s j o u r n a l . c o m MONCTON ADJUSTS TO THE 'NEW NORMAL' LOOKING BACK ON THE MONCTON TRAGEDY, ONE YEAR LATER, WHICH SAW THREE RCMP OFFICERS MURDERED BY CATHY DONALDSON The Moncton killings were a national tragedy.

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