Moncton: Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said, and authorities were searching for a suspect.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in New Brunswick confirmed on its Twitter feed that three officers were dead yesterday and two others had sustained non-life threatening injuries. Police spokesman Paul Greene confirmed the deaths.
The RCMP said on Twitter that they were looking for 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton. The police force tweeted an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns.
Constable Damien Theriault said police are urging people in the area to stay inside their homes and lock their doors. Drivers were also asked to stay out of the area.
Such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on Canada`s East Coast.
The Horizon Health Network, a provincial health authority, said on its Twitter feed that two patients were taken to Moncton Hospital with gunshot wounds.
Theriault said earlier the search for the suspect was concentrated around two streets.
Sean Gallacher, who lives near the area where police were concentrating their search, said he heard what he now believes were gunshots but initially thought his daughter had dropped some toys on the floor above him.
"I was downstairs and heard a few bangs," said Gallacher, 35.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney tweeted that he was "shocked by the tragedy" and that his thoughts and prayers were with frontline RCMP officers.