In a country often stereotyped as being too genteel, the Canadian city of Moncton, New Brunswick, prides itself on a special distinction: It was named the most polite.
So what happened there Wednesday seems unimaginable to some residents.
A man dressed in fatigues and carrying a rifle went on a rampage, killing three police officers and wounding two others.
On Thursday morning, the shooter was still on the loose.
Police say they know who the suspect is: 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton.
On Thursday morning, police spotted Bourque at least three times in the area, but “results for apprehension have been negative,” New Brunswick Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Marlene Snowman said.
Police posted to social media a photograph of a man dressed in fatigues, carrying what appeared to be a rifle.
Police posted to social media a photograph of a man dressed in fatigues, carrying what appeared to be a rifle.
The search for the suspect is ongoing, and Snowman asked residents to continue to stay indoors and remain calm.
The victims were all officers of the RCMP, said Roger Brown, the commander for the New Brunswick RCMP.
“This is perhaps the darkest day in the history of RCMP New Brunswick,” he said.
Authorities have not released the names of the officers killed, saying they are waiting for all family members to be notified.
More than 16 hours into the manhunt, police don’t know — or haven’t disclosed — what prompted the attacks.
Police leaders appeared emotional as they conveyed the few details they had to reporters.
“As you can imagine, this is working through your worst nightmare,” Brown said.
3 officers wounded in Canada shooting
Terror outside the window
The rampage began Wednesday evening when police responded to a report of an armed man in the north end of Moncton.
The gunman opened fire.
Three RCMP officers were shot and killed, Constable Damien Theriault told reporters.
“Two of our officers were also injured, but their lives are not threatened at this time,” he said, his voice breaking at times.
Joan MacAlpine-Stiles recalled seeing the gunman when she opened a window.
“It was really warm in the house, so we opened up the windows in the family room, and there he was going across through the back with this rifle on his shoulder,” she told CNN partner CBC.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, there he is with camouflage and the headband and a gun,’ and it looked like a bow he had with him, and I mean he was just through our backyard,” she said.
After police arrived, neighbor Vanessa Bernatchez watched with a couple of others from a living room window. She uploaded a video of the confrontation to Facebook.
“He shot him. He shot the … cop,” a man in the video exclaims. “Call 911!”
‘That could never happen here’
Moncton, a city of about 140,000 people, is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Saint John.
The Canadian magazine Chatelaine has described Moncton as one of the best places to live and work in Canada, according to the city’s website.
In addition, Reader’s Digest recently named Moncton as the most polite city in all of Canada, the city said.
Such accolades seem to matter little now.
The violence shook Moncton and beyond.
“It’s a lot. Especially for a city like this, where you wouldn’t expect something to happen like this,” local resident Jonathan Hurshman told CTV. “You see it all in the states, and you think, ‘No, that could never happen here’ — and sure enough, it happens here.”
There were no homicides in Moncton in 2011 and 2012, and the average number of homicides per year between 2006 and 2011 was one.
In 2012, the homicide rate in Canada was 1.6 per 100,000, while in the United States, it was 4.7 per 100,000, according to U.N. statistics.
Hurshman told CTV that he tried to get close to the confrontation with his video camera, only to be brusquely turned away by police.
He didn’t see the suspect, but he heard the gunshots and saw what he thought was a police officer on the ground.
“There was a lot going through my head. It was a lot to take in, seeing something like this happen here,” he said.
Hurshman’s family would remain inside their house all day, he told CTV, but early Thursday, he witnessed neighbors who didn’t feel safe packing their cars and leaving.
As the hunt dragged into Thursday morning, police continued giving updates and warnings throughout the night.
“Shooter still believed to be in Pinehurst Subdiv. area of Moncton. Stay locked inside. Avoid area,” the RCMP’s New Brunswick office tweeted.
All entrances to the neighborhood where the attack took place were blocked off, city spokeswoman Isabelle LeBlanc said Wednesday night. Her husband had not been able to get home.
Even some buses were pulled off the road out of concern for public safety, she said.
Hospital calls in more help
As the two injured officers were being treated, a local hospital had to get reinforcements.
“We have called in extra staff and physicians at The Moncton Hospital to help deal with this situation,” said John McGarry, president and CEO of Horizon Health Network.
“We are restricting visitors to those with critically ill family members, and ask all others to refrain from visiting at this time.”
Searching while grieving
As police keep looking for the gunman, they must do so while grieving the deaths of their colleagues.
When asked how officers would push through, Constable Theriault said, “We are professional.”
Moments later, he choked up and ended the news conference.
A shop owner described yesterday how a knifeman who went on the rampage in a busy town centre caused so many scared shoppers to seek safety in his store that they couldn’t fit through the door.
The 26-year-old suspect was at large for more than 20 minutes until he was brought down by a police Taser.
Last night he was being held on suspicion of attempting to murder a police officer.
And Servet Kaplan, 22, a store manager at Battersea Food & Wine, said: “People were trying to get into my store.
“There were so many they wouldn’t fit through the door. I saw the police Taser the man and it didn’t affect him at all, he just carried on running.”
Metropolitan Police took the suspect down in Battersea, south west London, at around 12.30pm yesterday.
The suspect was taken to a south London hospital with minor injuries. A police officer injured in the incident did not require hospital treatment, the Met said.
A force spokesman said: “Police were called to Falcon Road, Battersea, to reports of a man armed with a knife, threatening members of the public.
“Officers attended and the man proceeded to threaten police officers.”
Police said the man was apprehended on Este Road, at the junction with Falcon Road, near Clapham Junction rail station.
The spokesman added: “The man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer.
“A number of knives were recovered from the scene.”
Inquiries are continuing.
Eyewitness Jenilee Graham said she was unaware there was a situation developing until a woman stopped her and told her to get away.
The 23-year-old City worker, from south London, said: “I was coming back from Asda with my mum when we saw a woman who told us to stop where we were going.
“We didn’t know what was happening, but then we saw the man who the woman was talking about pop out from behind a bus.
“He ran towards us, then he darted down a side street. It was obviously pretty scary.”
She said the suspect was in his mid-20s and was wearing a black jumper, with dark hair and a beard.
The alarm was raised when firefighters based nearby heard shouting in the street and a couple went out to investigate, where they were confronted and threatened by the man, police said.
Officers said the suspect, 26, remained hostile and struck the window of one of the first police cars at the scene.
Terrified passers-by sought cover in a grocery shop as police tried to contain the armed suspect using a Taser.
Servet Kaplan, 22, a store manager at Battersea Food & Wine, said “People were trying to get into my store. There were so many they wouldn’t fit through the door. I saw the police Taser the man and it didn’t affect him at all, he just carried on running.”
Bhavesh Patel, 32, who works at Niki convenience store, said: “I was in the shop at the time and saw everything happen just outside the shop. Police took about 20 minutes to catch him.”
Newsagent Ali Moshin, 28, said: “I was scared and I told my colleague we should lock up the shop. We kept the shop locked for about 20 minutes until a policeman came and told us they had arrested the man.”
Chief Superintendant Paul McGregor said: “Upwards of 20 police officers arrived on the scene within minutes of the initial call. There were a considerable amount of people around. The incident bought the place to a standstill.
“The suspect attempted to attack a fire station and fire officers. We do not know about the damage to the fire station at this stage. The suspect was attacking vehicles with knives. We contained him by use of vehicles, boxing in his access.”
He added: “This is a really good example of how important an effective Taser use can be, in the right circumstances. People would have been seriously injured otherwise. It was very frightening for people locally.”
Pamela Held, 27, took nude photos of herself in provocative poses on her mobile phone to send to her boyfriend.
But when police seized her phone after stopping her for an alleged traffic violation, she claims officer Sean Christian found the raunchy images stored on her phone and sent them to his own mobile.
Police sources told the Daily News that officer Christian, 41, is the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation stemming from Held’s complaint.
It comes after Ms Held was pulled over by five police officers on February 6 because her car didn’t have an inspection sticker.
The officers found prescription drugs in her car so took both Ms Held and the friend she was travelling with to the police station.
When asked by officers where she had been that evening, she told them she had visited a friend and could prove it with text messages on her phone.
She then gave then her security pin number so they could look at the messages.
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A policeman was attacked at his home in Denbigh, Clarendon, on Wednesday night.
The police say about 11:50 p.m., the cop was pounced upon by three men, who opened fire at him.
A colleague who also lives in the community was reportedly alerted by the explosions and went to his aid.
He too came under fire.
One of the gunmen was injured in the incident.
He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His identity is not yet known.
The matter has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations.
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A serving police officer and a member of the public were arrested in the “Plebgate” inquiry yesterday, prompting claims of a wider “cover up” by supporters of Andrew Mitchell, the Cabinet minister forced to resign over the affair.
A 48 year-old male constable in the Metropolitan’s Diplomatic Protection Group was arrested early yesterday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.
It is understood the officer was on duty at the time of the Plebgate incident but police are still trying to establish if he was present in Downing Street at the time.
A 49 year-old woman, who is not a police officer, was arrested at a separate address on suspicion of assisting an offender.
They were being questioned by detectives at separate police stations yesterday.
The latest arrests were triggered by a letter sent by David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, which highlighted apparent discrepancies between the findings of Scotland Yard’s leak inquiry and a separate legal action.
Close friends of Mr Mitchell said the arrest of further suspects showed the Metropolitan Police’s original investigation had been flawed.
Only a “forensic” analysis of the evidence by outsiders showed important suspects had been missed, they added.
The development will put further pressure on Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met Commissioner, who is already facing allegations that he broke his own rules by secretly briefing journalists on the findings of the inquiry.
He admitted no notes had been kept of a Press briefing in March which led to reports – now thrown into doubt by the latest arrests – that officers had not lied over the Plebgate incident.
Last night Mr Davis said: “I did what I thought any decent police officer would do and look at all the publicly available evidence in a forensic manner.”
Mr Mitchell, who was the Government’s chief whip at the time of last September’s incident, was forced to resign after he admitted swearing at officers on duty in Downing Street when they refused to open a gate for his bicycle.
It was later alleged that he had called the officers “******* plebs” – a claim that appeared to be backed up by official police logs of the squabble. But Mr Mitchell denied using the work “plebs”.
Supporters of the former chief whip claimed factions within the police had lied about his behaviour in a bid to “toxify” him, due to acrimony between police and the government over changes to their pay and conditions.
Friends of Mr Mitchell said yesterday’s arrests were triggered by a letter from Mr Davis to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) earlier this month which disclosed that a “supposed other witness” had emerged.
The letter was prompted by disclosure of legal documents in Mr Mitchell’s separate libel action against The Sun newspaper over its reporting of the Downing Street row. He is suing the paper for defamation.
Mr Davis told the IPCC, which is supervising Scotland Yard’s inquiry, codenamed Operation Alice, that a woman had telephoned the tabloid the day after the incident to provide a “slightly more garbled” account of the contact between police and Mr Mitchell.
However, CCTV images from cameras in Downing Street showed there were no women nearby at the time of Mr Mitchell’s confrontation.
Supporters said the “only logical conclusion” was that the telephone call was a “put-up job”. They added that there was now evidence of a “real conspiracy” and a “cover up” because there were now “two people masquerading as witnesses – one of them a police officer”.
The arrests bring the total made in the inquiry to six so far.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “As the investigation continues, officers continue to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and pursue all lines of inquiry.”
- Police officer arrested in ‘Plebgate’ probe (metro.co.uk)
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RESIDENTS of 89 Maxfield Avenue were in shock yesterday morning as they woke up to find the body of a naked teenaged girl at the gates of the St Phillips Anglican Church.
The body was not identified up to press time yesterday but a police officer on the scene told the Jamaica Observer that the deceased appeared to be between the ages of 16 and 19.
“She appears to be an adolescent,” said the policeman from the St Andrew South Police Division who secured the crime scene.
A report from the Constabulary Communication Network said the body was of brown complexion, slim build, about 163 centimetres (5 feet 4 inches) long with braided extensions.
Police said the body had several stab wounds in the neck and abdomen. A bloodied underwear was found several feet from where the body lay in a pool of blood and the brassiere was cut off her body.
The young woman‘s unclad body was near the entrance to the Norman Manley High School and due to police yellow tape some students of the institution were inconvenienced as they were prevented from entering school as officers tried to preserve the crime scene.
Staff at Norman Manley High, Glenhope Place of Safety and the Maxfield Park Children’s Home — all located at that section of Maxfield Avenue which is close to the communities of Frog City and McDonald Lane — were given a chance to view the corpse in a bid to ascertain the victim’s identity. However, none of the persons who viewed the body were able to identify her.
“It seems she was not from around here either as none of the residents who saw her could identify her. No one seems to know her,” a policeman said.
One man who resides at the nearby Ethiopian Orthodox Church complained that thieves were plaguing persons who traversed the road on foot and said a woman was robbed of her cellular phone and slashed several times as she made her way to work one morning about 8:00 am.
“This road is very dangerous as they rob people very regularly even in the day. We have reported this to the police and asked them to patrol the road regularly. It gets worse at night as the road is pitch dark. The thieves use the football field as their escape route,” he said, suggesting that those robbers could be responsible for the young woman’s demise.
A woman who had gathered behind the yellow tape said it was possible that the young woman was raped and killed at the spot where her body was found. “It coulda happen right there as when night come not many people walk around there,” she said.
After the police handed over the body to funeral home workers and the curious crowd converged on the spot where the woman’s body lay, a knife blade was seen at the blood-soaked earth by the residents who showed iti to the police.
The blade was retrieved and taken into evidence.
The police said vaginal swabs will be conducted on the body to find out if the female was sexually abused.
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The men’s names are being withheld pending charges.
About two hours later, a policeman from the station received a text from someone offering a B13 for sale. The description fitted the one reported stolen.
Contact was made with the car’s owner who had reported the theft and a sting operation was set up. The owner contacted the number and expressed interest in buying the car. The sellers were advised where to meet their ‘customer’.
When they turned up with the stolen car, members of the Region Five Operation and Support Team accosted and arrested them.
The police said further investigations are being done to ascertain if the men are part of a car-stealing ring in the area.
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