Canada shootings: Man arrested in Moncton, New Brunswick

  • Published
Media caption,
One witness describes the suspect carrying guns, a crossbow and knives

Canadian police have arrested a man suspected of killing three police officers and wounding two others in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in New Brunswick said Justin Bourque was arrested without incident just after midnight in Moncton.

News of the arrest came after a huge manhunt went into its second night.

Following the arrest, police lifted a warning that residents should remain indoors and off the streets.

The three dead police officers have been identified as PC Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, PC David Joseph Ross and PC Douglas James Larche.

"It has been a very challenging 30 hours or more for the officers who worked around the clock to get this job done," Supt Marlene Snowman told reporters on Friday morning.

"It will take some time to heal but we will get there"

Mr Bourque, 24, was unarmed when he was taken into custody but had weapons nearby, Supt Snowman said.

'I saw him arrested'

A grainy image purporting to show Justin Bourque being taken into custody was circulating on social media.

A local resident named Michelle Thibodeau tweeted that she had witnessed the arrest.

"He was in my backyard. I saw him arrested in front of my eyes," she said.

"The Swat team arrived at my house and unloaded and started screaming in my backyard for him to surrender and he did. I watched it happen."

Image source, AP
Image caption,
Police sealed off roads in Moncton as they searched for the gunman

Stephen Puddicombe, a reporter for Canadian broadcaster CBC, said Mounties at the local RCMP headquarters smiled and hugged each other after the arrest was made.

"I think that's a celebration that you'll see repeated privately with Mounties around this city over the next several hours," he said.

The mayor of Moncton, George Leblanc, told CBC: "On the one hand we feel very happy, almost elated that this person has been arrested and this ordeal is over.

"But at the same time we have a great sense of sadness for the losses that our families have suffered."

Media caption,
Residents are now free to leave their homes after "a virtual lockdown" as CBC's Melissa Oakley reports

Barricades that had sealed off roads during the manhunt started coming down soon after news of the arrest leaked out, the Globe and Mail reported.

Earlier, police said the suspect, who was wearing camouflage gear and carrying rifles, had been spotted several times in north Moncton.

Dozens of police officers were seen scouring the search area with weapons drawn. Armoured security trucks were also visible.

One of the wounded Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers has been released from hospital, and one remains in hospital in a stable condition.

The officers were shot while responding to a report of an armed man at the north-west side of the town at about 20:00 local time (23:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

It was the deadliest attack on the country's police force since four officers were killed by a gunman on a farm in the western Canadian province of Alberta in 2005.