Thursday, June 5, 2014

Canada: Update--Shooting Deaths of Three RCMP Officers, Injuries to Two Others, Shooter Still on Loose, Residents Urged to Lock Doors

According to The Associated Press, the murder of three RCMP Officers and injuries to two others last night in Moncton, a city of 69,000 in New Brunswick province, passed the 12-hour mark without apprehending the shooter, Justin Bourque, 24, who was dressed in a camouflage clothing and carrying two shoulder weapons.

Heavily armed Mounties patrolled the small east coast city overnight in the search of Bourque. 

Police urged anyone possessing information on Bourque and his motives are urged to come forward.
 
RCMP Constable Damien Theriault said police responded to a call Wednesday evening (June 4) about an armed man in the north end of Moncton. Three of the responding officers were killed and two sustained non-life threatening injuries and are in stable condition.

Police released a map of a large portion of the northwest section of the city of 69,000 people, including a heavily wooded area, where they wanted people to remain inside with their doors locked.

They warned people to expect roadblocks and traffic disruptions.

COMMENT: Schools and government offices were closed, and the city pulled its buses off the roads. Mail delivery was also suspended.

Theriault broke down in tears at a media briefing as he spoke of the deaths of his three colleagues on Wednesday night.
 
"We are still actively looking for the shooter," 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 stay away from that area."

Asked how he was dealing with his grief, Theriault said he personally knew the officers. He later broke down, unable to complete his sentence, and excused himself.
 
Daniel St. Louis, a commercial photographer in Moncton, was among the first on the scene Tuesday (June 3) at approximately 2030 hours when he came across two police vehicles on different streets with blood visible on the inside.

One of the vehicles, a marked police cruiser, was surrounded by shattered glass. The other, an unmarked SUV with its lights emergency still on and the driver's side door left open, had several bullet holes through its front 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."

Danny Leblanc, 42, said he saw the shooter in the distance on Wednesday evening (June 4) , wearing a camouflage outfit and standing in the middle of the street with his rifle pointed at police vehicles.

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.

Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc urged all residents to pay strict attention to the RCMP warnings.

Such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on Canada's East Coast. Theriault said the city of Moncton didn't have a homicide last year or this year until Wednesday night.

RCMP officers from around Atlantic Canada are in Moncton assisting with the search.

The shootings brought back memories of when four Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were shot and killed in the western Canadian province of Alberta in 2005 in the deadliest attack on Canadian police officers in 120 years. They had been investigating a farm in Mayerthrope, a hamlet in Alberta, when a man shot them. The gunman was later killed.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of those affected by the shootings.

This report will be updated until such time as the Bourque is arrested and/or killed.