TORONTO — Three police officers were shot dead in Moncton, New Brunswick, and two more were wounded as they conducted a manhunt for a man carrying a rifle and wearing camouflage clothes, Canadian police said Wednesday.
Police said they were searching for Justin Bourque, 24, and urged residents to stay inside and lock their doors.
“Three RCMP members have been killed,” RCMP spokesman Paul Greene said in an emailed statement. He also said two RCMP members with injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening were taken to a hospital.
“The shooter remains at large,” the statement said.
Moncton is a city of about 70,000 people on New Brunswick’s east coast. Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States.
Local media published a photograph of a man in camouflage clothing and a black headband carrying a rifle. Reuters could not immediately authenticate the picture.
In an interview with CBC News, Greene said the officers were shot in the early evening after responding to reports of a man wearing camouflage clothing and carrying guns.
Regional health care organization Horizon Health Network said on its Twitter feed that Moncton’s hospital had received three patients with gunshot wounds.
The deaths of the three officers prompted an outpouring of grief on social media, with New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney both saying they were shocked by the news.
The last mass killing of Canadian police took place in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, in 2005, when a gunman killed four RCMP officers.