Constable Eric Dubois was cleaning his car when his phone was bombarded with calls from fellow RCMP officers telling him that gunfire had erupted – “Come on! Come on!” they said.
He left his Moncton house, bound for the line of duty on the heels of a mass shooting with a gunman still on the loose.
This Constable Eric Dubois returned home safe hours after leaving to take part in the manhunt last Wednesday night. The other Constable Eric Dubois was less fortunate: He suffered injuries and is recovering after being treated at a local hospital and released.
“There are two Constable [Eric] Duboises in the Moncton area, if you can believe that,” said the unscathed officer’s wife, Jennifer Lambert. “And I’m lucky it was not our Eric that was harmed.”
As news spread that Constable Eric Dubois had been injured, Ms. Lambert fielded calls and e-mails from friends and neighbours “freaking out” and asking how her husband was doing. One of the first images from the manhunt featured her husband, so people had known he’d been in harm’s way.
He was fine, she told them, aware it was the other Eric Dubois who had been wounded.
“Her” Eric, a father-of-three, returned home from the manhunt in the early morning hours Thursday, but she didn’t hear him until he was coming up the stairs. On edge since the heavily armed gunman was still at large, she asked, “’Eric, is that you?’” It was. He showered
and crawled into bed, exhausted.
“I was happy to see him,” she said, adding she gave him a kiss and cuddled up close. “But I didn’t sleep much after that, because I was still nervous since he said they were not too sure where [the suspect] was or whether he was going to have to go back out.”
She said her husband wasn’t part of the rest of Thursday’s effort to track down the suspect, Justin Bourque, who was ultimately apprehended in a residential backyard early Friday after a 30-hour lockdown.
New Brunswick Premier David Alward had spoken with the other Constable Eric Dubois as of Friday, and described the wounded officer as “very gracious and certainly dealing with very difficult circumstances.”
“[He] was in good spirits, although I can’t imagine what he’s going through,” Mr. Alward said. “Again, [he was] just very grateful that he was doing as well as he was.”
Ms. Lambert wouldn’t discuss how her own husband, who joined the local RCMP about four years ago, is faring now that his force is diminished and injured.
As for herself: “I feel extremely saddened for those whose loved ones were not as lucky as my Eric.”