Police in Canada launched an intense manhunt for the a heavily armed and dangerous man, who is apparently involved in killing three police officers and injuring two others in the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, in Canada.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Twitter that they were looking for 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton, a city of about 69,000 people about 95 miles (150 kilometers) northeast of St. John, New Brunswick. The police force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns.
A tweet from the New Brunswick RCMP reads: “Still actively looking for shooter near Pinehurst SubDiv. in Moncton. Stay in. Lock doors. Avoid this area. Stay Safe!” 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.
“The RCMP received a call at 7:20pm Atlantic Time of a man wearing camouflage clothing, carrying firearms, and walking into the woods,” police official Julie Gagnon said. As result, three of the responding officers were killed and two sustained non-life threatening injuries and were in stable condition.
Construction worker Danny Leblanc, 42, said he saw the shooter in the distance on Wednesday evening wearing a camouflage outfit and standing in the middle of the street with his gun pointed at police cars. He thought it was an RCMP officer until he heard a burst of automatic gunfire that sent him running into his home, where he remained behind locked doors with his family.
A Facebook page attributed to the alleged killer is littered with anti-cop and pro-gun messages and rantings. His last posting, written just after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, contains a lyrics of a song by metal band Megadeth called “Hook in Mouth,” says NY Daily News.
Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc said he was confident the police would bring the manhunt to a successful end and urged all residents to pay strict attention to the RCMP warnings.
“The police and other emergency personnel are working under extremely difficult conditions and need our complete cooperation. Stay home, stay safe. If you cannot get home, seek out a friend or family and remain there until you are advised otherwise,” LeBlanc said in a statement. LeBlanc also expressed deep sympathy for the families of the dead police officers.
The Canadian public safety minister, Steven Blaney, said he was “shocked by the tragedy” and his thoughts and prayers were with RCMP officers.
Correspondents say such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on the east coast. In 2012, 543 homicides were reported in the nation of about 35 million residents. Just six of those took place in New Brunswick. In contrast, Los Angeles County, with about 10 million residents, had 660 homicides that year.
In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police suffered the worst loss in the history of the force when four officers were ambushed and killed at a farm in Mayerthorpe, in northern Alberta, reports LA Times.