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ROCHFORT BRIDGE -- A crazed gunman with a simmering hate for cops shot four RCMP officers to death at a rural marijuana grow operation yesterday, the country's worst police bloodbath in over a century. Mounties exchanged shots with gunman James Roszko, 46, near the village of Rochfort Bridge, 120 km northwest of Edmonton, around 10 a.m.

Four hours later they moved in to find their fallen comrades, three from Mayerthorpe and one from Whitecourt, and the gunman dead.

Late last night, Sun Media confirmed with immediate family that one of the dead was Const. Brock Myrol, 29, who was newly assigned to the Mayerthorpe RCMP.

"The loss of four police officers in a single event is unprecedented. You would have to go back to 1885 to the Northwest Rebellion to see something of this scale," an ashen-faced K-division commanding officer Bill Sweeney said at the Mayerthorpe RCMP detachment yesterday afternoon.

"This is a terrible shock for all of us and we are in a state of mourning. Our hearts and prayers are with the families."

Police sources said the grow operation north of Mayerthorpe was raided by the Edmonton Police Service and RCMP Green Team Wednesday night.

Two officers were left around 4:30 a.m. to secure the scene until Edmonton RCMP auto theft unit members could arrive to search the property for stolen goods. Just before 9 a.m., two additional officers arrived.

The first two were shot and then "two more who came out to the farm later in the morning were ambushed," said one source.

At 9:15 a.m., when two members of the auto theft team arrived, they heard shots ring out inside a Quonset hut, a long, low, barn-like metal structure.

The gunman stepped outside and opened fire on the auto theft members, who returned fire. Sources say the killer, armed with a Heckler & Koch .308 semi-automatic assault rifle, specially made for combat, then retreated inside.

The site was secured and air space over the area was closed as a precaution. Tactical resources were deployed, including the RCMP emergency response teams, major crimes and GIS, as well as the city police chopper Air-1. A total of about 35 officers swarmed the area.

Around 20 soldiers and three vehicles from the Edmonton Garrison were also dispatched to the scene of the shootout, but it ended shortly before they arrived.

Around 2 p.m., three dark-coloured SUVs drove onto the property.

Roughly 10 minutes later, two officers wearing paramilitary fatigues and bullet-proof vests appeared at a fence in front of the hut.

The Mounties had their rifles aimed at the inside of the hut.

At the same time, another group of similarly equipped officers approached the hut from the north side with a pair of police dogs - out of the line of sight of a possible shooter in the structure.

The tactical officers waited another 10 or 15 minutes, and while paying careful attention to an object on the ground, made their way to the hut's entrance using a tractor as cover.

Two officers then appeared walking away from the hut, dragging what appeared to be a human body by the elbows.

Mounties then moved in en masse.

"The scene was not what officers were hoping to encounter," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes said from the Mayerthorpe detachment last night.

One of the three Mayerthorpe officers - there are 10 based at the detachment - had only been on the job for three weeks, said a source.

STARS air ambulance landed a helicopter near the site but out of rifle range. When RCMP announced the scene had been secured, the chopper flew to the farm.

"We were informed by the RCMP we were not required and were stood down," said STARS spokesman Cam Bell.

Officials later said Roszko was found with a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This incident occured only 130 KM (80 miles) from where I live. Only 3 years ago, I did 3 weddings in Mayerthorpe. And at one of the weddings, one of the slain R.C.M.P. officers was...not just a guest...but a member of the bridal party.

So. This touches me close to home. And my thoughts go the the 4 fallen members of Canada's finest force and to their families and friends and as well to all of the R.C.M.P family.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will mourn and forever miss;

  • Brock Myrol, 29, (He only joined the detachment 2 weeks ago (February 14th, 2005) after graduating from his 6 month training course only the week before
  • Lionide Nicholas Johnston, 32,
  • Peter Christopher Schiemann, 25,
  • Anthony Fitzgerald Orion Gordon, 28,
 

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I read about that. I am so sorry to hear that these officers lost thier life. It was needless and unnecessary. My heart and prayers go out for thier families and loved ones.
I have 3 members in my family that are law enforcement officers and I have a Criminal Justice Degree and have worked with local and FBI enforcement officers in the past. I know what they go thru.

Life is so precious, enjoy it. Remember that you do get to enjoy it because of officers such as these and all the rest of law enforcement in North America and all the Military who give thier all to keep us free.
Thank them every time you see them. They are ALWAYS in Harm's Way.
 
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