The Canadian town of Moncton, New Brunswick is currently under lockdown as officials search for a gunman in fatigues who killed three police officers and injured two others, running off before anyone could stop him.
The man, identified by police as 24-year old Justin Bourque, was reportedly wandering the streets of Moncton in military fatigues and carrying a rifle. When police received reports of his presence and arrived at the scene, the man opened fire. Constable Damien Theriault told reporters at a press conference that the bullets hit five officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), three of which were pronounced dead and the other two expected to make a full recovery.
The story has alarmed a town with a reputation for low crime and politeness, but it has not yet ended, as the gunman remains on the loose. “We are still actively looking for the shooter,” Theriault explained, adding that police have narrowed the search area down to the Pinehurst subdivision area of Moncton.
The manhunt for Bourque continues; police warned Moncton residents not to leave their homes on Thursday while they comb the town for the suspect and have closed schools and government offices. Public transportation was also shut down, as the city removed buses from roads. With the city on lockdown, police continue to search for Bourque in heavily armed vehicles across town.
In addition to the earlier press conference, RCMP assistant commissioner Roger Brown updated the press as to the search, reminding residents that the situation is “very, very dangerous” and that the search will continue throughout the day. “This is working through your worst nightmare,” Brown said.
The mayor of the small town, George LeBlanc, said in a statement that the situation was “an extraordinary tragedy nobody could foresee,” extending condolences to the families of those killed. “Naturally there’s a very high degree of concern and anxiety over this,” he said. While the police declined to identify those killed yesterday, noting that some immediate family members have not yet been notified, they did divulge that one of the officers left behind three children.
The Toronto Star reports that Bourque has been sighted three times–one time a “100% identification”–during the course of the morning, but police have not been able to detain him. Bourque is said to be very knowledgable of the area and hiding in the woods nearby a Moncton residential area.