PC Robb Costello and PC Sara Burns, Fredericton Police Force (EOW: August 10, 2018)


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It is with a deeply saddened heart that I'm posting about the EOW of Constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, of the Fredericton Police Force on Friday, August 10, 2018. The two constables were responding to a shots fired call in a residential area of Fredericton and while responding, were killed in the line of duty by a lone gunman. PC Costello, 45, was a 20 year veteran of the Force, while PC Burns, 43, had served for two years. PC Costello has been described as being an outgoing and loving family man, whose stepchildren lovingly referred to him as "Faux-Pa". He was also described as having a unique approach to policing that was very fair and caring, but was also tough when needed. He was especially kind to his mother and was extremely proud of his two daughters. PC Burns consistently gave back to her community, raising funds for a shelter for women and children that were victims of domestic abuse and has been described as "just lovely." She played an integral role in raising $130,000 for the shelter. She had also served as an Auxiliary Constable, as well. She displayed a strong interest in working with people living with mental health disorders as well as at-risk and vulnerable youth and working to counsel and assist them. She also wanted to work towards assisting fellow first responders struggling with PTSD. PC Burns always showed a strong degree of empathy and compassion towards other first responders and youth in conflict with the law. She always tried to understand the youths' situations and do what she could to help them. Both are examples of the very best of policing; both in their approaches to their duties and to who they were are human beings.

Two others were murdered by the gunman, who was shot by police and apprehended. The gunman has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and several other offences. He now faces life in prison, without the chance for parole for 100 years. The less I say about him the better, but all reports show that he was a complete nutbar who was into first person shooter games and a well-known Islamaphobe and racist. Not necessarily mentally ill; just a hate-filled degenerate. Frankly, he should swing for this.

There's been an enormous outpouring of support in Fredericton for the two fallen Constables, as well as the two civilian victims. Having been posted to the Fredericton area for a few years, I always remembered their police officers as being very, very fair, professional to a fault and extremely personable. They always handled themselves well when so required, but I always saw that were fair and used words before force. Even when using force, I saw that they showed always restraint and tremendous professionalism to the point where they treated subjects respectfully after the situation was under control. They conducted themselves in a manner that's very unique to Atlantic Canada that can be best described as the first step to working with someone was talking it out and being totally on the level, but to not take any nonsense and if need be, be very tough, but very fair and even respectful. An excellent group of men and women and it's a saddening blow to the entire nation. May all the victims rest in peace and may justice run its course to the fullest.

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