1. ‘My Kingdom Will Come:’ 2014 Moncton Shootings

At around 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the New Brunswick RCMP were notified of an armed man, dressed in camouflage, walking in the Moncton suburb of Glen Cairn. Locals reported the sound of gunshots; shortly thereafter, there were reports that five RCMP officers had been shot, three fatally. By midnight, police had locked down the area around Glen Cairn and an intense manhunt was underway for a suspect identified by the RCMP as Justin Bourque. [1]

Meanwhile, in the National Post newsroom, Hudes began to see news of the shooting appear on social media.

Watch: Sammy Hudes talks about covering the Moncton shooting.

Bourque would ultimately lead the police on a 30-hour manhunt that ended with him surrendering to police, unarmed, just after midnight on June 6. By then, journalists had been given enough time to conduct interviews and gather information that painted Bourque as a man who wanted to “go out with a bang.” [3]

In the crucial first hours of the rapidly developing story, reporters like Hudes had to rely on whatever avenues available to them to uncover information about the active shooter, working only with a name and a picture of the suspect released by the RCMP.

In their search, one of Hudes’ editors passed along a Facebook page belonging to a New Brunswick man named Justin Bourque. The profile picture showed two men holding shotguns, surrounded by spent shell casings. Posts on the page included a Dave Chapelle quote that criticized police, and an image macro with the lines “We need your guns, they said…so I shot them.” The profile’s most recent post was 14 lines of lyrics from the Megadeth song “Hook in Mouth,” ending with the lines “Don’t try to fool us, we know the worst is yet to come / I believe my kingdom will come.” [4]

To Hudes, it looked like the man the RCMP was looking for.

[1] Paul Clarke, “Timeline of the Moncton manhunt,” The Toronto Star, June 5, 2014.

[2] “Profile: Justin Bourque: Latest revelations about man charged in Moncton shooting, ” CBC News, June 5, 2014.

[3] Justin Bourque’s Facebook page, accessed December 2, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/justin.bourque.5682

[4] Justin Bourque’s Facebook page, accessed December 2, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/justin.bourque.5682

Next: 2. Covering an Active Shooter