Inside the Moncton shooting suspect’s white and brown mobile home are action figures in military camouflage and toy cars still in their plastic packaging lined atop a television set.
There are also several heavy metal music posters – including one for the band Anthrax, featuring skulls – and a large red, white and blue Confederate flag.
It was garbage day on Monday, but the trash outside suspect Justin Bourque’s home remained, cereal boxes and takeout containers overflowing from trash cans set between wilted dandelions and blue wildflowers growing in the long grass.
The bomb squad had already come and gone from the home of the man accused of killing three Mounties and injuring two others, but elsewhere on Monday, officers and canine units continued their search across northern Moncton.
With the police presence at the Pioneer Avenue trailer park dissipated, and as residents prepared to attend a public visitation for the three fallen officers, a friend of the accused was charged on Monday with uttering death threats to law enforcement officers.
Jasper Stam is accused of making the verbal threats between May 10 and May 18. A provincial judge on Monday ordered Mr. Stam not to communicate with Mr. Bourque, although the RCMP said the charges were not connected to the three homicides.
Tracy Petukhov, a friend and former employer of Mr. Stam, said he was close with the shooting suspect and a group of other young men. Like Mr. Bourque, he was homeschooled and from a large, religious family, she said.
She said conversations with Mr. Stam over the past year turned from normal to bizarre, adding that he believed police ambushed Mr. Bourque, not vice versa. Mr. Stam’s Facebook page includes posts defending the shooting suspect and, like Mr. Bourque’s online presence, shows anti-police sentiment.
“He thinks the police wear uniforms so that they can be above the rest of us, so they can have power over us,” she said, describing Mr. Stam as seeming “lost” in the past year or so.
On Monday, hundreds of mourners streamed into a public visitation at a Moncton celebration centre, paying their respects to Constables David Ross, Douglas Larche and Fabrice Gévaudan. Their caskets were draped with Canadian flags and topped with Stetson hats.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor-General David Johnston, RCMP officers, the victims’ families and untold local mourners will descend on the Moncton Coliseum on Tuesday for a regimental funeral and law enforcement parade.
Aside from Mr. Bourque’s mobile home, the police presence was also lifted at the place where he was arrested early on Friday, a wooded area along a fence at the back of residential backyards.
The woman whose property backs onto the arrest site said her understanding is Mr. Bourque had been hiding in the brush behind a power line, where the vegetation is thick, but in one area visibly trampled.
Mr. Stam, who describes himself on social media as a 24-year-old musician, baker and anarchist, has defended Mr. Bourque in some of his Facebook postings.
“Justin had no mental illness. he did not do hard drugs. he did not do anyone who deserved respect any wrong. Not ever,” Mr. Stam posted on the weekend, alluding to Mr. Bourque.
In an apparent reference to police, Mr. Stam added that Mr. Bourque did not “pretend to be above others” as the “pigs do downtown and on the roads.”
The comments, along with others accusing police of killing innocents, were part of a Facebook discussion set off by Mr. Stam’s announcement that he “just got fired for being friends with someone.”
Ms. Petukhov, who once employed Mr. Stam at her music bar, said he had most recently worked at his father’s bakery, but his dad fired him on Saturday. An hour after he was dismissed, she said, police were actively looking for him. A man who answered the phone at the bakery declined to comment, as did Mr. Stam’s brother.
Mr. Stam at one point worked at Café Codiac, a west Moncton eatery, according to Michel Vienneau, a friend who is employed there now.
“That blows me away,” Mr. Vienneau said of the charges. “To me, it doesn’t make sense.”
Mr. Stam is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.
With reports from Tu Thanh Ha in Toronto and Josh O’Kane in MonctonReport Typo/Error
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