A gunman is believed to have shot three RCMP dead and left two injured and is now hiding in the woods of Moncton division, the Police have said. In its attempt to hunt him down, the police commandeered armoured Brinks trucks in search for him.
The New Brunswick city of about 70,000 is under virtual lockdown with schools, government buildings and many private businesses closed as heavily armed RCMP officers patrol the streets in the hunt for 24-year-old Justin Bourque. Bourque was last seen near a wooded area in military camouflage, carrying two high-powered rifles with high capacity magazines, a bow and a knife.
Police are urging those who live in the northwest section of the sprawling city to stay indoors with their doors closed and if anyone sees Bourque to immediately call 911.
The RCMP released a map of where they believe the gunman is holed up and have set up roadblocks and are searching vehicles. They are asking motorists to avoid the Pinehurst subdivision.
Police are holding a news conference to update the situation Thursday morning at 10:45 local time.
Premier David Alward has asked residents to listen to the police warnings.
Const. Damien Theriault broke down in tears as he told the media about the deaths of his three colleagues Wednesday night.
“We are professionals,” Theriault said Wednesday. “We will ensure the security of the public. We are going to do that.”
The RCMP have not released the name of the slain officers. The two injured Mounties were taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
A gunshot is then heard and Bernatchez screams, followed by a second shot.
“He shot him…he shot a cop, ” the man says.
“Oh my god, call 911,” Bernatchez yells as the video ends.
Daniel St. Louis, a commercial photographer, came across the scene at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when he came across two RCMP vehicles on different streets with blood visible.
He said he could not see anyone except some curious neighbours looking out their front doors.
St. Louis told The Canadian Press one vehicle was surrounded by shattered glass and the other, an unmarked SUV, had its driver’s door open and several bullet holes in the windshield.
“I walked over and I saw two feet, facing the street, toes up,” said St. Louis, 51. “I realized, ‘Oh my God. There’s somebody down.’ As I got close, I realized it was an officer and this is not a good situation.”
Sean Gallacher, who lives near the area where police are 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.
“I went to check but she hadn’t dropped anything. Then I heard the news and realized what it actually was.”
A disturbing image of the suspect as anti-police and pro-gun has emerged from what appears to be his Facebook page. His profile picture shows two men holding guns with bullets scattered around them. Another gun is on the ground nearby.
The account paints of picture of a guns right extremist with anti-police views.
The account also posted a photo earlier Wednesday with the caption “if you have a problem with law-abiding citizens being armed then you are the reason law-abiding citizens are armed.”
Within hours of the shooting someone posted the lyrics of a Megadeth song to the Facebook account. They say, in part:
“Ever think maybe it was meant to be this way? Don’t try to fool us, we know the worst is yet to come. I believe my kingdom will come.”
Megadeth is the same band that Matt de Grood, the suspect in the Calgary stabbing deaths of four young people, posted about just prior to the massacre in April.