Moncton Shooter Justin Bourque ‘not in good shape’ after overdose in New Brunswick prison

Convicted cop-killer Justin Bourque has been taken to hospital after a drug overdose, multiple sources confirmed to Global News on Wednesday.

Bourque has been serving a life sentence at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., for murdering three RCMP officers and wounding two others in a 2014 shooting rampage in Moncton.

Read more: Justin Bourque to serve 75 years before parole eligibility for RCMP killings

Multiple sources have told Global News that Bourque overdosed last week. It is believed he obtained the drugs while serving his sentence at the Atlantic Institution.

Bourque was then moved to a local hospital for treatment.

A source who asked they not be identified but has knowledge of the situation told Global News that Bourque has since been moved to an institution with better hospital facilities due to what they called safety concerns.

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The same source says Bourque is “not in good shape.”

Global News has subsequently identified the facility Bourque was moved to as Dorchester Penitentiary.

Moncton shooting five years on: Where are we at with gun laws?
Moncton shooting five years on: Where are we at with gun laws?

The source said that an investigation into how Bourque obtained the drugs is underway at the Atlantic Institution.

The source would not say if the overdose was believed to be a suicide attempt.

Correctional Service Canada confirmed that Bourque is in its care but would not confirm any of the details in this report, citing privacy concerns.

Nadine Larche, the widow of one of the RCMP officers killed in 2014, confirmed she is aware of the situation but had not further comment.

Police keep watch on a house as they search for a heavily armed gunman following the shooting of three Mounties in Moncton, N.B., on June 5, 2014.
Police keep watch on a house as they search for a heavily armed gunman following the shooting of three Mounties in Moncton, N.B., on June 5, 2014.Marc Grandmaison/The Canadian Press

On June 4, 2014, Bourque killed constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Doug Larche, and left constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen injured.

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An agreed statement of facts, filed with the court during his trial, said Bourque’s actions were both “planned and deliberate” when he used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot the police officers in a Moncton neighbourhood.

He had targeted police in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.

Read more: Fallen officers remembered five years after Moncton shooting rampage

A 28-hour manhunt for Bourque left much of Moncton in a state of fear until his arrest.

He pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 75 years.

Prosecutor seeks maximum fine against RCMP in deadly 2014 Moncton shooting spree
Prosecutor seeks maximum fine against RCMP in deadly 2014 Moncton shooting spree

In 2017, a provincial court judge in New Brunswick found the RCMP violated the Canada Labour Code by failing to provide officers with appropriate use-of-force equipment and training to deal with active- shooter situations.

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Members had insisted since the 2014 shooting that they were outgunned as they searched for Bourque.

Carbine rifles were not available to general duty officers at the time of the Moncton shootings, and during the Labour Code trial, numerous witnesses said they could have made a difference.

Provincial court Judge Leslie Jackson found the RCMP not guilty of failing to provide its members with the necessary information, instruction and/or training when responding to an active threat or active shooter event in an open environment.

Read more: RCMP guilty of 1 Labour Code violation in 2014 Moncton shooting

Jackson also found the force not guilty of failing to provide its supervisory personnel with the appropriate information, instruction and/or training to ensure the health and safety of RCMP members when responding to an active threat or active shooter event in an open environment.

Jackson stayed a charge of failing to ensure, in general, the health and safety of its members.

The force was eventually fined $550,000 for the labour code violation.

–With files from Global News’ Shelley Steeves and Leslie Stojsic and The Canadian Press

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