The man accused of killing three RCMP officers was in the rage in the days before the Moncton shootings, but turned aloof and hung up when his father phoned him in the hours preceding the carnage, according to a court affidavit.
The sworn statement, made by the father of shooting suspect Justin Bourque, was filed Thursday in support of a defence request to get the accused to undergo a psychological assessment.
Such evaluation could be used to decide whether he is fit for trial and criminally responsible for the three homicides.
Mr. Bourque was last seen by his father, Victor, around 5 p.m. on the day of the shootings, June 4, the affidavit says.
According to document, Justin told his father that he was leaving for work.
However, his father received a call informing him that Mr, Bourque had failed to show up at the warehouse where he was employed.
“I called him to ask why he lied to me – he was distant and disrespectful on the telephone,” the affidavit says. “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.”
Less than two hours later, emergency dispatchers got calls from witnesses reporting that an man armed with a shotgun and a rifle was walking through a trailer park and into the woods in north-end Moncton. Three Mounties were fatally shot and two others wounded that evening.
The accused is one of the seven children of Victor and Denise Bourque. The family didn’t notice any problems with Mr. Bourque until 18 months ago, the affidavit says.
That was when Mr. Bourque, who lived with his parents, had to move out at their request, following a dispute over his purchase of a second firearm and his “inappropriate behaviour.”
The affidavit does not give details about Mr. Bourque’s behaviour but its content mirrors what one of Mr. Bourque’s sisters, Sophie, told The Globe and Mail last month about his struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, relationship troubles and job insecurity.
“I noticed him entering into serious depression, emotional and financial instability which got worse by the month. I noticed this when Justin came home to visit or eat. Often he would pace back and forth while talking about things that made no sense to me or other members of the family,” the affidavit says.
The affidavit describes an encounter between father and son two days before the shooting, “I was unable to calm Justin down while driving him to work,” the elder Mr. Bourque says in the court document. “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. This behaviour I can only describe as paranoia.
“I was unable to reason with him in any manner whatsoever.”
Mr. Bourque, 24, is accused of the first-degree murders of Constables Fabrice Gévaudan, Dave Ross and Douglas Larche. He is also charged with the attempted murder of Constables Éric Dubois and Darlene Goguen.
After his appearance in provincial court Thursday, Mr. Bourque was sent for a psychological assessment. He will return to court July 31.