RCMP mourns deaths of 2 Mounties shot in Sask.
Two RCMP constables who were shot more than a week earlier in central Saskatchewan have both died, an RCMP spokesman confirmed Sunday, saying their sacrifices would “never be forgotten.”
Const. Marc Bourdages, 26, and Const. Robin Cameron, 29, had been in critical condition in a Saskatoon hospital since the shooting on July 7 near the farming community of Mildred, about 140 kilometres west of Prince Albert.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Brian Jones confirmed the deaths in a news conference in Saskatoon Sunday.
“We’re all tremendously saddened by today’s news,” he said. “Mark and Robin were much loved.
“The sacrifice that both Robin and Mark have made in the line of duty will never be forgotten.”
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Darrell McFadyen confirmed that the two constables died overnight.
“Robin died at approximately 11 p.m. and Marc about two hours later,” McFadyen said. “Both succumbed to severe head injuries. Despite all of the excellent care that was provided to them, they were unable to recover.”
‘We knew she would never come back’
Cameron’s father, Howard, talked about how proud he was of his daughter ó and how her family came to realize she would not recover from her injuries.
“There was nothing wrong with her heart, but wounds to her head were so devastating that doctors told us, and we knew, she would never come back,” he said.
The family of Const. Marc Bourdages, including his wife Natasha, who is also an RCMP constable in Spiritwood, thanked the Royal University Hospital and said there has been an outpouring of support from family and friends.
“Their love and support and the messages that we have received from across Canada helped us stay strong through this horrible week,” his wife said. “But I believe that Marc is with us now in spirit and that he is in a better place where he can be peaceful.”
Both officers leave children
The slain officers were both stationed at the RCMP detachment in Spiritwood, about 10 kilometres west of Mildred.
Cameron was a single mother with an 11-year-old girl. Earlier in the week, members of Cameron’s family said they were grief-stricken that they may not have told her enough how proud they were for her successes, despite a turbulent childhood.
A member of the Beardy’s and Okemis First Nation north of Saskatoon, Cameron was sent away to residential school as a child and dropped out of high school when she became pregnant. However, she was determined to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an RCMP officer, returning to school and even getting eye surgery to qualify for the force. She had been with the force for five years.
Bourdages was originally from Saint-Eustache, Que. He was married to another RCMP officer at Spiritwood and they had a nine-month-old boy. He had been with the force for 5Ω years.
Started with dispute between Dagenais, mother
Police are still hunting for 41-year-old Curtis Dagenais, the prime suspect in the shootings, who is believed to be armed and dangerous. A week-long search has failed to find any trace of him. Dagenais has been charged with attempted murder for shots fired at a third RCMP officer at the scene, who returned fire.
The tragedy was allegedly sparked by a disagreement on the night of July 7 between Dagenais and his mother and sister at a home in Spiritwood.
Curtis Dagenais’s mother, Elsie Dagenais, and other family members have claimed that the family dispute stemmed from a three-year divorce battle between her and the suspect’s father, Arthur Dagenais, after decades of domestic abuse, including a property settlement.
Herb Jaster, the suspect’s uncle on his mother’s side, has said that on July 7, Curtis Dagenais found out that his mother was to be awarded half of the family farm in a divorce property settlement. He went to her house to confront his mother and sister, since he was expecting to get the farm for himself, Jaster said.
The argument escalated, police were called and Curtis Dagenais left in his truck.
Police gave chase, ending in the shooting near Mildred.
A massive police search was launched for the suspect but it was scaled back on July 13.
Suspect’s father denied bail
Meanwhile, the suspect’s father was denied bail on July 14 by a judge in North Battleford, Sask., who ruled his release would be a risk to public safety.
Judge Violet Meekma said Arthur Dagenais, 69, should not be released on bail because he has a history of animosity towards police. He was charged with obstruction of justice earlier in the week after returning to his farm, which police had ordered him to stay away from while they were searching for his son.
His next court appearance is July 26.
8994 – May they rest in peace!
RCMP mourns deaths of 2 Mounties shot in Sask.