3 officers killed, 2 injured in Canada shooting

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Damien Theriault and Mayor George LeBlanc pause to collect themselves before addressing the media during a late night news conference at City Hall in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Damien Theriault and Mayor George LeBlanc pause to collect themselves before addressing the media during a late night news conference at City Hall in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

Police officers take cover behind their vehicles in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured Wednesday in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said, and authorities were searching for a suspect. (AP Photo/Moncton Times & Transcript, Ron Ward via The Canadian Press ) MANDITORY CREDIT

Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers take cover behind their vehicles in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured Wednesday in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said, and authorities were searching for a suspect. The RCMP in New Brunswick confirmed on its Twitter feed that three officers were dead and two others had sustained non-life threatening injuries. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Viktor Pivovarov, Moncton Times & Transcript)

A Codiac Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer drives with the rear door window shattered by a bullet in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured Wednesday in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said, and authorities were searching for a suspect. The RCMP in New Brunswick confirmed on its Twitter feed that three officers were dead and two others had sustained non-life threatening injuries. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Viktor Pivovarov, Moncton Times & Transcript)

Police officers walk around a strip mall urging merchants to shut down their stores in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Police New Brunswick were searching Wednesday for an armed man after at least two people, both police officers, were injured in a shooting. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in New Brunswick said on its Twitter feed that they were looking for 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton, who is considered armed and dangerous. The police force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

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MONCTON, New Brunswick (AP) — Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. Authorities were searching for a suspect.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Damien Theriault said police responded to a call Wednesday about an armed man in the north end of the city of Moncton at 7:30 p.m. Three of the responding officers were killed and two sustained non-life threatening injuries and were in stable condition.

“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 say away from that area.”

Asked how he was dealing with his grief, Theriault said he personally knew the officers before breaking down and excusing himself because he couldn’t complete his sentence.

Police said they were looking for 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton — a city of about 69,000 people about 95 miles (150 kilometers) northeast of the capital of St. John, New Brunswick. The police force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns.

Danny Leblanc, 42, said he saw the shooter in the distance Wednesday evening, wearing a camouflage outfit and standing in the middle of the street with his gun pointed at police cars.

The construction worker said he believed it was an RCMP officer he was looking at until he heard a burst of automatic gunfire coming from the man’s gun.

He said he quickly retreated into his home and remained there with his family. At one point a neighbor posted on social media that their kitchen window was shattered by gunfire.

Leblanc said few people on his normally quiet street were sleeping as they awaited word at midnight on whether arrests had been made.

Word that police had been killed shocked the city, Leblanc said.

“It’s devastating. I don’t know if he was on a hunt for them, or what,” he said.

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.

“It is a terrible tragedy,” he said. “We as a city must pull together as a family to support those who have suffered losses.”

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 evening.

“We have been blessed until this point,” he told The Associated Press.

He said other 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 small

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