The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confirmed Wednesday evening that
three of its officers were killed and two others were wounded by a gunman
in Moncton, New Brunswick.
The RCMP said on its Twitter feed that they were looking for 24-year-old
Justin Bourque of Moncton, who is considered armed and dangerous. The
police force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and
wielding two guns.
RCMP Constable Damien Theriault said the officers were shot responding to
a call about an armed man in the north end of the city at around 7:30 p.m.
The two officers who were injured received non life-threatening injuries
and were in stable condition
"We are still actively looking for the shooter," Theriault said. "He is
believed to still be in the Pinehurst subdivision area of Moncton. We are
urging people in that area to stay inside and lock their doors and for
people to say away from that area."
Asked how he was dealing with his grief, Theriault said he personally knew
the officers before breaking down and excusing himself because he couldn't
complete his sentence.
Danny Leblanc, 42, said he saw the shooter in the distance Wednesday
evening, wearing a camouflage outfit and standing in the middle of the
street with his gun pointed at police cars.
The construction worker said he believed it was an RCMP officer until he
heard a burst of automatic gunfire coming from the man's gun.
"That guy was standing on the road afterwards and he was looking towards
us," he said.
He said he quickly retreated into his home and remained there with his
family. At one point a neighbor posted on social media that their kitchen
window was shattered by gunfire.
Leblanc, who was in contact with friends on Facebook, said few people on
his normally quiet street were sleeping as they awaited word at midnight
on whether arrests had been made.
Word that police had been killed shocked the city, Leblanc said.
"It's devastating. I don't know if he was on a hunt for them, or what," he
Moncton, located in eastern New Brunswick about 95 miles northeast of the
city of St. John, has a population of just under 70,000.
Police said Wednesday night they believed the suspect was at large in a
subdivision. Police had a number of roads in the city blocked and traffic
was backed up on major arteries across the city. Drivers were also asked
to stay out of the area.
Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc urged all residents to pay strict attention
to the RCMP warnings.
"It is a terrible tragedy," he said. "We as a city must pull together as a
family to support those who have suffered losses."
Such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on Canada's East Coast.
Theriault said the city of Moncton didn't have a homicide last year or
this year until Wednesday evening.
"We have been blessed until this point," he told The Associated Press.
He said other RCMP officers from around Atlantic Canada are in Moncton
assisting with the search.
The shootings brought back memories of when four Royal Canadian Mounted
Police officers were shot and killed in the western Canadian province of
Alberta in 2005 in the deadliest attack on Canadian police officers in 120
years. They had been investigating a farm in Mayerthrope, a small hamlet
in Alberta when a man shot them before he was killed.
Sean Gallacher, who lives near the area where police were concentrating
their search, said he heard what he now believes were gunshots but
initially thought his daughter had dropped some toys on the floor above
"I was downstairs and heard a few bangs," said Gallacher, 35.
Will Njoku told the CBC that he was emptying his dishwasher and putting
his children to bed at around 8 p.m. local time when he heard popping
"Within 30 seconds I heard sirens," he said, before adding that he heard
five more shots after the sirens. When news broke that there was a
shooter, he said he went outside to warn his neighbors.
"I felt pretty dumb. But there was people going down there," he said. "I
just know my neighborhood. It's just kid city."
Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney tweeted that he was "shocked
by the tragedy" and that his thoughts and prayers were with frontline RCMP
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