The Canadian Press
MONCTON, N.B. - A man suspected to have killed three Mounties and injured two others after shootings in Moncton, N.B., was spotted Thursday morning but police were unable to apprehend him, the RCMP said.
Commanding Officer Roger Brown said the most recent sighting of the suspect was just after daylight Thursday and they were able to positively identify him.
“Unfortunately, at this particular point in time, I don’t have all the answers to all the questions,” Brown told a news conference.
“This is working through your worst nightmare.”
Supt. Marlene Snowman said officers were unable to confirm the suspect’s identity on two other occasions when he might have been sighted. Officers continued to search for the shooter, who she said was carrying high-powered firearms, more than 16 hours after their manhunt began.
Police officers from across the country have been brought in to help arrest the suspect, said Brown, the Mounties’ commanding officer in New Brunswick.
The RCMP were searching for 24-year-old Justin Bourque, a Moncton man who was wearing military camouflage and carrying two rifles in a picture of him released by police on Twitter on Wednesday night.
Residents in the area where police searched have been urged to stay inside their homes and lock their doors.
The RCMP released a map of a large swath of the northwest section of the city, including a heavily wooded area, where they wanted people to remain indoors. They also warned people to expect roadblocks and traffic disruptions.
Schools and government offices were closed, and city buses were pulled off the roads.
Brown said the two wounded officers underwent surgery in hospital Thursday and he met with the families of the officers who were shot. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
“As you can all imagine, they’re hurting,” said Brown. “There’s actually no way to describe the level of hurt.”
He did not release the names of the officers who were shot because police were still notifying relatives.