The flags were at half-mast at Confederation Building and Premier Tom Marshall asked for a moment of silence Thursday afternoon in the House of Assembly to mark the deaths of three New Brunswick RCMP officers.
Where would we be without individuals as brave as this? Where would we be without the police officers who keep our families safe?” Marshall said in the legislature. “Let us make this pledge: to stand by our police officers, to respect and honour them for what they do, to honour their fallen comrades and to remember their families, who are heartbroken today.”
As Marshall spoke, police were still engaged in a massive manhunt in Moncton, N.B., for the man who allegedly killed three officers and wounded two others.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you, and with the people of New Brunswick, who are in shock today and waiting anxiously while the police continue to do their work,” he said. “May God keep all our police officers safe today and watch over them as they watch over us.”
Politicians with both opposition parties said their thoughts are with the people of Moncton.
“Moncton, New Brunswick, just imagine, a close-knit community, not unlike many communities that we have in our own province. In fact, there are many Newfoundlanders and Labradors who live there. The RCMP assistant commissioner, Roger Brown of the RCMP detachment in Codiac, is from our province,” said Liberal Leader Dwight Ball.
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael also offered her condolences to the families of the murdered officers.
“I was shocked as I watched the news and saw the breaking news come across the screen last night on Newsworld,” she said. “And to the residents of Moncton, as the manhunt continues, we send our thoughts and prayers that there are no more deaths or injuries, that they are safe. This unbelievable situation is a heartbreaking reminder to us all that police officers put their lives on the line to protect us every day.”
Health Minister Paul Davis, a former RNC officer, said the tragedy will affect police officers across the country.
“I can tell you I was shocked,” Davis said. “Policing in Canada, I mean, they're very much a family in and among themselves.”
Municipalities also took time Thursday to recognize the tragedy. Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador president Churence Rogers said on Twitter he wrote all communities to suggest they lower flags to show sympathy for the RCMP’s loss.
The City of St. John’s was among those that did so.
“Council, management and staff send our thoughts, prayers and support to our colleagues and the entire community of Moncton,” the city said in a statement released to media.
Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South and Gander were among other communities to lower flags Thursday.