Canada, Loss, Memoir, News, Writing

Sending Out an SOS

** I’d been toying around with starting to share some shorter personal notes in addition to my Tuesday essay posts, I wasn’t sure when I’d begin, but unfortunately something close to my heart presented itself today. **

Moncton shooting: RCMP surround building as manhunt continues…

A massive manhunt is going on in the very city in Eastern Canada where we lived before moving to Virginia. In fact the perimeter of the search is adjacent to where we lived.

Today in Moncton, New Brunswick, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) are hunting an armed gunman who has shot 5 Mounties (officers), killing 3 of them. And many local residents are currently locked down.

As of writing this the latest news was that a building had been surrounded by armed officers of various law enforcement groups, but they have since moved on.

The suspect, a 24 year old male, seems to be targeting police. He was photographed at least twice Wednesday evening and was clearly carrying a pump action shot gun, a semi-automatic rifle, a crossbow and enough ammo to do significant damage.

It has been reported that his Facebook page contains a lot of “anti-authority, anti-police, pro-gun” photos and also the last post before this shooting rampage was some of Megadeth’s  ‘Hook in Mouth’ lyrics ending with:

“Don’t try to fool us, we know the worst is yet to come
I believe my kingdom will come”


Living many, many miles (or kilometers, as I would otherwise be writing) from the part of the world where I grew up, for me social media has been somewhat of a lifeline. I can see local, provincial and Canadian national news with just few “clicks” on my laptop. And I do this often, nearly every day.

This manhunt for a Mountie killer has literally & figuratively hit close to home. My grandfather Staff Sergeant Judson G. Skinner was an officer in the RCMP for over twenty-five years.

My sister and me with our grandfather Staff Sergeant Judson G. Skinner.
My sister (r) and me (l) with our grandfather retired RCMP Officer Judson G. Skinner.

I’ve spent much of today checking updates or live-streaming CBC NB news from down here in Charlottesville. And sending my thoughts & prayers to the citizens there (there is a hashtag that is trending #PrayForMoncton ), and silent condolences to the families who’ve lost loved ones.

We lived in the Moncton area for two years, back in 1997-1999. But we still have close family and friends who are living there right now. And as it always is in these situations, it’s really scary.

I watched the CBS morning news show with Charlie Rose and Nora O’Donnell, wondering if the story would be covered. There was a brief mention of it along with a few seconds of some censored video that was taken during part of the shootings.

It was enough to bring tears to my eyes.

RCMP half mast

I thought about the fact that we had still been living there during the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. These tragedies are still shocking us, they were then and they are now.

The last thing that I want to do is seem to be making this about me in any way, but it occurred to me that here I am living away in another country while this goes down.

I am far away, only able to wait and listen for the updates. Hoping to hear they’ve caught the man. Hoping they can avoid him going down in a shoot-out.

And it also occurred to me that many of the wonderful people, who I know here in Virginia, or in other parts of the US or the world, may not even be aware of this.

If anyone who reads this would like to send their own thoughts and prayers though, I know they’d be appreciated by these Canadians.

Times like these remind us that we are a one world community tied together by our locales, our pasts and presents, our friendships, our travels, our histories, our tragedies…and on and on.

Please, may this be resolved as quickly as possible and without further incident.

For the people of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
For the people of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada


― Raina K Morton, June 5 2014


*UPDATE* Thankfully the manhunt is over and the suspect has been apprehended, arrested and taken into custody without further incident.


Fallen RCMP

4 thoughts on “Sending Out an SOS”

  1. Coming at this from the media angle, Raina, here in Canada, we get a hearty heaping helping of American news every day. I am as aware of what’s happening as major news stories in the U.S. as I am about those happening in Canada (and Abroad). This is not mirrored in the U.S. The only Americans who will know of this tragedy are those who have Canadian connections. Pointing to this story, the suspect has been arrested, and the fallen officers have been named. Now that this has happened in Moncton New Brunswick, we can all sure it can happen anywhere.


    1. Yes, it’s very true, I remember, & I was hoping to give anyone I could a way to be made aware, here and other places, where it may not make the news, etc. It was followed up this morning by Charlie Rose on the CBS morning show, with some video of the officers taking him into custody. (It was happening in Seattle yesterday, too, a shooter that is. It’s so disheartening) My heart aches for the families of the fallen, reading their names this morning brought tears to my eyes.


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