Shediac police officer shot and left for dead 40 years ago says he's still looking for answers

It's been 40 years since former Shediac Town Police Const. Clarence Bourque was shot five times while on duty.

No suspect was ever charged in the case, but despite the time that has passed, Bourque says he's never stopped looking for answers.

"It's like it happened yesterday," Bourque said. "I get thinking about it all the time. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it."

It was June 2, 1981, when Bourque encountered a man, who he believed was impaired, near Louis-J.-Robichaud High School in Shediac. Bourque says he gave chase after the man escaped when he tried to arrest him. Bourque says as he was trying to place the man in handcuffs, he was shot five times and left for dead. His stolen police vehicle was later found submerged in the waters off Cap Bimet, N.B.

"The pain was so unbearable, my body was on fire," said Bourque.

Bourque sustained life-threatening injuries to his abdomen, lung, and arm, but after a lengthy stay in the hospital, he was later released.

To this day, Bourque claims the investigation into the shooting was mishandled.

"Even if the guy walked in off the street today and said 'I did it,' they have no evidence to bring him to court with," said Bourque.

Former New Brunswick Justice Minister, Mike Murphy, has long thought there should be a more thorough investigation into Bourque's shooting. In 2005 he rose in the legislature and asked for a public inquiry into the case, but the government at the time denied his request.

"Even if they can't find the perpetrator, they need to have a clearing of the air so that people know what was done, whether it was sufficiently followed up on, and dispel any rumours of credibility," said Murphy.

Despite no new recent leads, Cpl. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP said in a phone call with CTV News Atlantic on Thursday that the case is still open and considered an active investigation.

"Although the term cold case likes to be thrown around a lot, for us here in New Brunswick, the RCMP in New Brunswick, no file is ever closed until it is solved. So we continue to seek any information that might help us identify the person or people responsible for this crime," said Ouellette.

Bourque says he's doubtful anyone will ever be charged in his shooting.

"They can't give me back 40 years. They can't erase what has happened," said Bourque.

New Brunswick RCMP is asking anyone with information on the attempted murder of Clarence Bourque to contact the RCMP Major Crime Unit or Crime Stoppers.