January 18, 2015 - 4:29 PM
ST.ALBERT, Alta. - Thousands of kilometres from the Alberta casino where RCMP Const. David Wynn was shot, a Nova Scotia community where he once served as a paramedic expressed shock and prayed for his recovery.
Wynn, 42, was last reported by the RCMP to be in grave condition after he and Derek Walter Bond, an auxiliary constable, were shot in a casino northwest of Edmonton while investigating a suspicious vehicle.
Bond was released from hospital but the last update from police on Saturday said that Wynn, who has been a Mountie since 2009, was still struggling for his life.
"For many years, we worked side by side with him in his former career," said a Facebook post from the Bridgewater Police Service, on Nova Scotia's south shore.
"When he made the decision to switch careers and join the RCMP, we supported him."
"Our love and support go out to his family, friends, and colleagues."
Stacey Brown, with Emergency Health Services in Nova Scotia, said all employees at the agency were thinking of Wynn, as well as Brown.
"On behalf of all EHS employees in Nova Scotia, our hearts, thoughts and prayers remain with both RCMP officers, their colleagues and the officers' family," Brown said in an email.
Mounties in Alberta have identified a suspect who was found dead following the shooting.
Police said that Shawn Maxwell Rehn, 34, was the person whose body they found in a home on Saturday, not far from the Apex Casino in St. Albert where the two officers were shot.
RCMP said Rehn was known to police.
They said an autopsy to determine how he died will be performed on Monday.
Paula Power, a spokeswoman for St. Albert Public Schools, said Wynn has been a resource officer at Keenooshoyo Elementary School for five years. She said his main duty has been to provide drug education for Grade 6 students, but he was frequently in the school speaking with students and parents, and appears annually in red serge for the Remembrance Day assembly.
Power said counsellors were to be available at the school Monday for students, as well as for teachers and staff.
Wynn is the face of the RCMP for many of the students, who have known him for most of their elementary school years.
"It's tremendously shocking. It is for the whole community. But when it affects someone with a relationship with a school, it's different," Power said.
Mark Furey, who represents Lunenburg West in the Nova Scotia Legislature, said Wynn and the shooting were what many people were talking about on Sunday.
Furey, himself a 32-year veteran of the RCMP before entering politics, said he remembered Wynn when he was still a paramedic.
Furey said the shooting, and every other recent police shooting in the country, has had particular significance for Bridgewater. Another RCMP officer, Sgt. Derek Burkholder, was killed in 1996 when he was shot while attending to a domestic call in Lunenburg County.
"It's a very close community," Furey said of police and EMS staff. "They find themselves in close services on frequent occasions."
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand told reporters Saturday that it didn't appear Wynn and Bond were expecting trouble when they walked inside the casino.
The suspect fired two shots, Degrand said, and Wynn didn't have a chance to fire back. Bond, being an auxiliary constable, wouldn't have had a gun and normally only carries pepper spray and a baton.
Evidence suggests no one else was involved in the shooting, Degrand said.
A massive manhunt tracked Rehn to an unoccupied home, where Degrand said it appeared he forced his way in.
Degrand said police surrounded the home tried to establish communication. When that failed, they entered the home and found the man dead.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, a police watchdog, said it will investigate the death. It said in a news release that since the body was found while the home being contained by police, it is considered to be a death in police custody.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015