Ten years ago, all eyes were on the community of Spiritwood, Sask. as a massive manhunt was just beginning for the man who fatally shot two RCMP officers.
Rob Clarke was the officer in charge of the Spiritwood detachment at the time. He was on the other end of the line when the call came in his fellow members had been wounded.
“It brings up a lot of emotions,” Clarke told John Gormley Wednesday morning.
“For one, I think about everyone that was involved, but I think about all the other first responders – the police officers who put on the uniforms, and you don’t know what’s going to happen during that day.”
RCMP constables Robin Cameron, 29,and Marc Bourdages, 26, were shot while pursuing suspect Curtis Dagenais on July 7, 2006. Another officer was also wounded the same day.
Cameron and Bourdages died days later within hours of each other, while a manhunt continued for the suspect.
Dagenais was arrested after 12 days and later found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
“When the manhunt was on, that was a very emotional rollercoaster,” Clarke said. “Wanting to be at the hospital, with the families, and giving them our support for their loss – you just never forget it. It’s one of those things I think about everyday.”
Clarke left the RCMP and became a Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River from 2008 until recent political defeat in the 2015 federal election.
Bourdages’ widow, Natasha Szpakowski and son Luca spoke at a ceremony Wednesday to mark the anniversary and dedicate a new park after the fallen officers.
“He deserves to be recognized today and always. This park is going to be very meaningful to us,” she told reporters.
— JT Marshall (@jtmarshallCKOM) July 6, 2016
Bourdages served over two provinces and Szpakowski said she wants people to know he was very proud to wear the Red Serge.
With her son Luca by her side, the mother and son thanked the community and the RCMP for their ongoing support.