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EDMONTON - Colourful bouquets of flowers and heartfelt notes of condolence lined the entrance to the St. Albert RCMP detachment under a gloomy sky on Wednesday, as the community mourned the death of RCMP Const. David Wynn.

“Itís too close to home. It is home,” said St. Albert resident Debbie Lowe, who said she has several family members and friends in the RCMP.

“The hardest part is the family, the mom and three boys ... people donít understand what these RCMP officers face every day when they go to work.”

Some visitors had tears in their eyes as they looked at the spontaneous memorial that continued to grow in front of the detachment with its flags flying at half mast.

Wynn died Wednesday morning, four days after he and auxiliary officer Derek Bond were shot inside St. Albertís Apex Casino while investigating a stolen truck. Wynn, a 42-year-old father of three, never regained consciousness. Bond was seriously injured but has been released from hospital.

“Today, the RCMP lost a dedicated member in the line of duty, his wife lost a husband, and his sons lost a father,” Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan, commanding officer of Alberta RCMP, said in a written statement. “Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel today.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also issued a statement Wednesday, calling the shooting, “a brazen and cowardly assault on our brave law enforcement officers.”†

“It is a grim reminder of how law officers in communities across the country put their lives on the line every day to protect Canadians from harm. We mourn with all RCMP members today.”

Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand, who oversees criminal operations for the province, said both police and the public are grieving the loss of a dedicated officer, known for going above and beyond in the line of duty.†

He called it “absolutely a tragic and devastating day.”

“This is an assault on the police but itís also an assault on the fabric of our society.”

Wynn, a former paramedic, joined the RCMP in 2009. His wife, Shelly MacInnis-Wynn, spoke publicly Monday, thanking the RCMP and others who had supported her family after the shooting. Wynn had three sons, Matthew, Nathan and Alexander.

Premier Jim Prentice said in a statement that he hopes Wynnís family and friends will find strength and solace in the support from people around the country, “as together we grieve for our fallen Canadian hero.”

St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse also offered his sympathies on behalf of the city Wynn and his family called home. “We join you in mourning his passing as we struggle with the senselessness of his death,” he said. “Policing is a noble profession, where ordinary people do extraordinary things to help keep our communities safe. Our thoughts are with RCMP Constable Wynnís family as we collectively grieve.”

The City of St. Albert has deeply felt the shooting. Many trees in the city are adorned with white ribbons, and people are wearing white ribbons on their lapels to show their support to the RCMP.†

Memorial books have been set up at RCMP K Division Headquarters in Edmonton and at St. Albert Place in St. Albert, for residents to offer their condolences to Wynnís family.

John Bozocea, one of those who stopped to sign the book at St. Albert Place on Wednesday, said Wynnís death is shocking and devastating.

“Not only was he protecting our community as an RCMP but he was a family member of St Albert, he was raising a family and being part of our community as a hockey dad,” he said. “Weíre only a community of 60,000 but itís still hard when you lose somebody from St Albert, as well as an RCMP member.”

RCMP said there will be a regimental funeral for Wynn in the Edmonton area, but details have not yet been released.†

Degrand said he is “in awe” of the strengths of the RCMP officers who continue to perform their duties in the wake of Saturdayís shooting, and the death of a friend and colleague.

“Itís a calling to serve, and Canadians are like that in all walks of life,” he said. “We donít lay down in the face of adversity, we rise to the challenge, and our members will. But this is painful. And we hurt. And right now itís a time for healing.”

With files from Sarah OíDonnell and Sara Mai Chitty




Harper government introduces Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act

“Without this legislation, we’re asking our police to use pagers and typewriters to keep up with criminals using smart phones and tablets. We look forward to an engaged and responsible debate on this legislation, but we do hope that we can see this Bill passed as quickly as possible.”

- Tom Stamatakis


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