Fredericton Pride parade 'a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief'

The Fredericton Pride parade is slated to take place Sunday despite the fatal shooting two days ago of four people in a quiet neighbourhood in New Brunswick's capital.

Fredericton Mayor Mike O'Brien told a news conference Saturday "there's a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief."

O'Brien said the parade is a way for Fredericton's residents to start rebuilding their faith in community by celebrating diversity, culture and pride.

He added that the city will be reaching out to people in the Brookside Drive neighbourhood, where Bobbie Lee Wright, Donnie Robichaud, Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns were gunned down Friday morning.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also be in the city Sunday to meet with members of the Fredericton Police Force and their families and to participate in the Pride festivities.

In a Facebook post, Fredericton Pride expressed condolences to the families of the victims, saying the event will begin with a minute of silence.

Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, has been changed with four counts of first-degree murder and is set to appear in court on Aug. 27th. 

Police say the alleged shooter used a long gun from an elevated position and Raymond is being treated for injuries after being shot by police.

A motive is not yet known and the Fredericton Police Force are asking the public not to speculate. 

Details are also beginning to emerge about the lives lost during the shooting in the quiet Fredericton neighbourhood

Thirty-two-year-old Bobbie Lee Wright and 42-year-old Donnie Robichaud had only been in a relationship for a couple of weeks before they were killed Friday morning, says Robichaud's cousin Sean Callahan.

Fredericton Police Force constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello responded to the scene and were shot after finding Wright and Robichaud on the ground.

Ten children in total lost a parent Friday, Burns was married with three kids, while Costello was a father of four and Robichaud had two teenage sons and an older daughter.

Meanwhile, the Saint John Police Force is offering the residents of Saint John and surrounding communities an opportunity to sign books of condolences for Costello and Burns
The main lobby doors of the Saint John Police Force Headquarters will be open to the public from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm beginning Monday.

Police say any member of the community who would like to express their sympathies and condolences is invited to visit the station.

The books will be presented to the families on behalf of the Saint John Police Force and citizens of Saint John and the surrounding communities on the day of the funeral.

~ With files from The Canadian Press.