FREDERICTON – The jury in the trial of Matthew Raymond has found him not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder for the 2018 killings of four people in Fredericton.
Family members of the victims hugged each other and sobbed after the verdict was announced. Raymond bowed his head and wiped away tears but said nothing.
The 11-member jury reached its verdict after three days of deliberation. It brought to a close a nine-week trial that revived memories of a difficult time in the New Brunswick capital, a city known for its quiet, tree-lined streets and low crime rate.
The four victims left behind many grieving relatives, and the Aug. 10, 2018 shootings shocked the city.
“Our hearts are broken,” Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien said at the time of the tragedy. “We grieve as one.”
The shooting is one of a trilogy of mass killing events that have shaken the normally tranquil Maritimes. In 2014, a shooter in Moncton, N.B., killed three RCMP officers and injured two.
Then in April of this year, a gunman in Nova Scotia killed 22 people and injured three – the deadliest such rampage in Canadian history.
The Fredericton police constables who died were Robb Costello, 45, a husband with four children, and Sara Burns, 43, a wife with three children. They were the first officers to arrive at the scene of the early morning shooting and were shot as they rushed to help two people lying on the ground.