3 Mounties shot dead in Moncton, N.B., manhunt on for suspect
Published Wednesday, June 4, 2014 8:38PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 5, 2014 3:09AM EDT
A gunman is still at large after fatally shooting three RCMP officers and injuring two others in Moncton, N.B., Wednesday evening.
Police are advising people in the Moncton Coliseum area and Pinehurst subdivision to stay inside as they hunt for the shooter.
“At this precise moment we are still actively looking for the shooter and he may be still in the Pinehurst subdivision of Moncton,” Const. Damien Theriault told reporters late Wednesday night.
Theriault also urged residents not to divulge the location of police officers during the manhunt.
Codiac RCMP said they are looking for 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton. He is considered armed and dangerous. Police tweeted a photo of the suspect dressed in military camouflage and carrying guns.
A Facebook page under the same name had several anti-gun control messages. Lyrics from a Megadeth song, ending with “I believe my kingdom will come,” were posted shortly before the shootings began.
The Horizon Health Network, New Brunswick’s largest health authority, said two gunshot victims were admitted to the Moncton Hospital.
“At this time I can confirm that we have received a total of two victims related to this tragedy,” Dr. Dhany Charest, Moncton Hospital’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “They have been treated and are in stable condition in hospital. We have also received a third patient from a separate incident that occurred Wednesday evening. That person is in critical condition in the OR.”
The hospital is restricting visits to those with critically ill family members.
On Facebook, New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy warned residents “near the shootings in Moncton” to stay away from windows, lock doors and “wait for the all-clear from police.”
Resident Heidi James told CTV News Channel that she was at home with her husband and young children when they heard gunfire.
“I heard probably about four to five shots. They sounded quite loud,” James said.
James said she moved her children away from windows as worried friends and family began texting her to make sure her family was safe.
She said her husband peeked out the window and saw a body, covered with a blanket, next to a “shot-out” vehicle.
“We haven’t been told yet that it’s safe to leave our house,” James said, adding roads in her neighbourhood have been barricaded off.
Eyewitness Jeff Boudreau told News Channel that he was on his way home from work when he saw “a lot of officers flying by me.”
Boudreau said officers were in the process of blocking off residential streets when he passed by, and that “the whole north end is on shut down.”
Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc offered his “heartfelt sympathies” to the families affected by the tragedy. He said he has “every confidence in the RCMP” as officers continue to hunt for the suspect.
In a statement, New Brunswick Premier David Alward said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the shooting.
“On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I would like to extend my thoughts and prayers to those affected. I would ask New Brunswickers, particularly in those areas identified by police, to follow the situation as it develops and to listen to the advice of police,” he said.
Alward told CTV Atlantic that he has been in touch with the commander of Codiac RCMP and said the shooting has been “certainly devastating for their force.”
Alward urged residents of Moncton to “maintain vigilance and listen to reliable sources for information.”
Federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney tweeted late Wednesday that he was “shocked by the tragedy in Moncton,” and said his thoughts and prayers are with frontline RCMP officers and their families.