Manhunt after gunman murders three police officers

Police in Canada are focusing on two streets in a massive manhunt for a gunman who shot dead three officers and wounded two others.

Manhunt after gunman murders three police officers

Police in Canada are focusing on two streets in a massive manhunt for a gunman who shot dead three officers and wounded two others.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police named the suspect as Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton, New Brunswick, and said he was armed and dangerous.

The force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns.

Constable Damien Theriault said the search for Bourque was concentrated around two streets in Moncton.

The Horizon Health Network, a provincial health authority, said two patients were taken to the Moncton Hospital with gunshot wounds.

People in the area have been warned to stay inside their homes and lock their doors and drivers were also told to stay away.

Such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on the country’s East Coast.

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 him.

“I was downstairs and heard a few bangs,” said Mr Gallacher, 35.

Canadian public safety minister Steven Blaney tweeted that he was “shocked by the tragedy” and that his thoughts and prayers were with front-line RCMP officers.

Danny Leblanc, 42, said he saw the shooter in the distance wearing a camouflage outfit and standing in the middle of the street with his gun pointed at police cars.

The building 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 neighbour posted on social media that their kitchen window was shattered by gunfire.

Mr 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, he said.

“It’s devastating. I don’t know if he was on a hunt for them, or what,” he said.

Moncton mayor George LeBlanc urged all residents to pay strict attention to police warnings.

“The police and other emergency personnel are working under extremely difficult conditions and need our complete co-operation. Stay home, stay safe. If you cannot get home, seek out a friend or family and remain there until you are advised otherwise,” Mr LeBlanc said.

Mr Theriault said police responded to a call yesterday about an armed man in the north end of Moncton at 7.30pm local time. Three of the responding officers were killed and two were wounded and in a stable condition.

“We are still actively looking for the shooter,” Mr 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, Mr Theriault said he personally knew the officers, before breaking down and excusing himself because he could not complete his sentence.

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