Thousands to attend funeral for fallen RCMP officers

The 3 Mounties were killed in the line of duty by a gunman last Wednesday in New Brunswick

A photo of the public visitation held on Monday
(REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)

Three Mounties slain in the line of duty will be remembered today in Moncton as thousands of their fellow policeofficers join loved ones and grateful citizens to say goodbye.

The RCMP regimental funeral service for constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Douglas James Larche and Dave Joseph Ross will be televised from the Moncton Coliseum.

Mayor George LeBlanc says he expects between 5,000 and 7,000 police officers to attend the funeral, which begins at 1 p.m., and it will be preceded by an RCMP parade scheduled to start at 11:45 a.m.

LeBlanc said the city's outpouring of support for the families of the slain officers has been one of the bright lights in a dark time.

``If you just look around here today, it won't take you long to see somebody coming up and shaking the hands of an RCMP officer,'' LeBlanc said before attending Monday's visitation service. ``That is the goodness of Moncton shining through.''

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will speak at the service, and Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Gov.-Gen. David Johnston are also scheduled to attend.

Mike McCormack with the Toronto Police Services Association says 75 Toronto police officers will attend. 75 OPP officers will also be on hand. 

So many people are expected to go to the service that the city has set up at least five other sites where mourners can gather together.

Gevaudan, Larche and Ross were gunned down Wednesday evening after responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential neighbourhood in the northwest area of Moncton. The shootings and the ensuing 30-hour manhunt for the alleged killer brought the city to a standstill until an arrest was made just after midnight Friday.

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