A shift sergeant was right behind the two Fredericton constables who were first to respond to an active shooter call on the city's north side two years ago.
As police cars entered the parking lot of an apartment complex, Sgt. Jason Forward stopped to speak to a man leaving one of the buildings.
Then he heard shots, and when he drove on, he saw his two colleagues on the ground.
"I knew at this point I couldn't get to the officers ... I could be the victim next," Forward said. "I crawl out of my car, get on the ground. I'm thinking, you know, 'Am I next? I kept thinking 'Am I next?'"
Forward was one of the witnesses called Thursday at the first-degree murder trial of 50-year-old Matthew Raymond.
Raymond has admitted shooting Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, then Fredericton constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello, when they arrived on the scene. He pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers are arguing he was not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder.
Forward's testimony about the morning of Aug. 10, 2018, spanned the first call the police department received about the shooting to the point when Raymond was in custody.
'This is now an active shooter situation'
The first call about shots fired at 237 Brookside Dr. came at 7:10 a.m., just as police were getting their morning briefing.
As officers got ready to respond, the calls kept coming. Forward quickly realized this was an "all hands on deck" situation, and every officer in the building had to respond.
While he was making that command, more calls came in, and now there was someone on the ground.
"I truly know this is now an active shooter situation," Forward testified.
At this point, he said, he didn't know exactly where the shooter was, who it was or if more than one person was involved.
He said Burns was just finishing a night shift, and Costello was just starting. The two got into Costello's car and led the charge.
Police left the station in a convoy and drove across the Westmorland Street Bridge to Brookside Drive.
When they reached the parking lot of the complex, Costello drove in. But Forward stopped to ask a man if he heard any shots or saw any shooters. The man said he heard shots and that he was leaving.
"Great, you leave, that's one less person we have to get out of there;" Forward said he him.
When Forward continued on, he saw his colleagues on the ground, and reversed his car. He said he was afraid he'd be next.
"I said goodbye to my family. [I] kind of got into a state of mind. This happened very very fast … I realized at this point I'm still here, and I said to myself, 'OK, Jason, you have a job to do.'"
Forward crawled out of his vehicle and grabbed his armour and rifle from his trunk. He skirted Building C, which, though he didn't know it at the time, was where Raymond was shooting from.
As he got to the other side of the building, Forward noticed bullet holes in a top window. He knew this was a corner apartment with windows on two sides, so he pinpointed that location as possibly where the shooter was hiding.
He communicated with his team, and they went into the back door and up the stairs to Apt. 11, Raymond's apartment.
'Fire back and engage'
When Forward and the team got to the apartment, they waited outside, he testified. Over the radio, one constable said he'd located the apartment from the outside and could see someone in the window.
"I directed him if he sees someone raise a gun and points at the window and risks shooting someone, to fire back and engage," Forward testified.
He said he gave the command multiple times.
"I just wanted to make it clear that he understood what I was asking him to do. That's not an easy direction for a sergeant to give a member."
Forward said all he heard back was "10-4," a police code for acknowledging the communication.
Shortly after, Forward said, he heard a single gunshot. He and another officer started breaking down the apartment door with a sledgehammer.
The sledgehammer only created a hole in the door, through which they could see "a lot of clutter" and a bicycle in the way. That's when Forward learned the shot came from the outside, and the man in the apartment had gone down.
Police threw a can of tear gas into the apartment.
Forward said there was no response from the man inside — no coughing, no choking, only silence.
Now police sent in a robot with a camera mounted to it. Through it, they saw a man lying in the living room. Forward said the man's hand was still on a rifle, but he was not moving.
When they saw the man take his hand off the rifle, they sawed the door in half and arrested him.
Neighbours recount the morning
Sarah Gould was one of three residents of the Brookside Drive apartment complex who testified Thursday morning. The young woman recalled waking up to the sound of gunshots and looking out the window to see a window screen on the ground. When she looked up, she saw a barrel of a gun sticking out of a top-floor window.
Minutes later, she saw two officers arrive, then get gunned down in front of her.
Gould testified she lived in a ground-floor apartment with her family. Through tears, she told the jury she saw Costello shot in the chest, and Burns shot in the back.
Martin Vezina, another resident of the apartment complex, testified that when he looked out the window to see what was going on around 7 a.m., he heard a "boom," and glass shattering.
He barricaded himself, his children and his girlfriend in a bedroom until the police came.
The Crown showed him a picture of his own living-room window. There was a bullet hole on the top of the window. A photo from the inside of his apartment showed glass and children's toys littering Vezina's floor.
Timothy Morehouse testified he was awakened by shouts of "Shut up, shut up," then gunshots.
Kendra Snodgrass and her boyfriend Shawn Noble testified they left their apartment to help Robichaud after seeing him on the ground, but they had to take cover after Burns and Costello arrived on scene and gunshots continued. The couple did not realize the initial noise was gunfire, and thought Robichuad had had a seizure.
Neighbour Justin McLean recalled having a conversation with Raymond where he seemed angry about motorcycle noise in the parking lot, and said Robichaud owned a motorcycle.
The court also heard from a paramedic student who said who heard him say, to no one in particular, "They were outside my window, they were taunting me. It's not my fault. They made me do it."
The trial continues Friday.