Kathy Elliott was confined to her house for nearly two days, but it’s only now that she feels she can get some rest.
The former Corner Brook resident was among the citizens of the northern section of Moncton, N.B. who found themselves inside the lock-down perimeter as the RCMP searched for suspected cop killer Justin Bourque Wednesday and Thursday.
The drama had begun with reports of gunshots and the confirmed deaths of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two more officers Wednesday evening. Police conducted an intensive manhunt for Bourque, who was captured without incident around midnight Thursday night.
After more than a day of nothing but police cars tearing up and down the streets and helicopters hovering overhead, Elliott finally felt relief when Bourque was caught just a five-minute walk from her home on Ryan Street.
Earlier Thursday, it seemed as though police had cornered Bourque in a building a little further away, but that was not where he was.
“We thought they had him then and we felt a little sigh of relief, but then the search immediately came back up closer to where we were and it got even bigger with more of a police presence,” she said.
“We felt a new level of fear at that point.”
When news finally broke after midnight that Bourque was captured, Elliott couldn’t stop watching the news until 4 a.m.
“We had two days to get some rest, but now I feel we can finally get some,” she said Friday morning.
Many of those watching from both inside or outside the search perimeter expressed some frustration as the search for Bourque seemed to drag on and nightfall approached again Thursday evening. Elliott said it was well worth the wait, given the conclusion.
“I understand why it took so much time,” she said. “It was done without any further bloodshed or loss of life. They took their time and they did it right. We are all so proud of them, especially working under the umbrella of what had happened to their colleagues.”
While the uncertainty is now over, Elliott said the ordeal for the community as a whole will continue for some time yet as everyone gets to know the officers who lost their lives or were injured and the families affected by the tragedy.
“I heard how one of them has a small child and his wife is expecting another baby soon,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”