Canada police extend manhunt after 3 police officers shot dead

World Today

A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript,, Viktor Pivovarov) MANDATORY CREDIT

Canadian police on Thursday mounted a massive hunt for a 24-year-old gunman they suspect shot dead three officers and wounded two more in the eastern city of Moncton.

The man suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt in the normally tranquil east coast city of Moncton, police said.

Justin Bourque, 24, was seen in three different places around the search area of Moncton, said RCMP Commander Marlene Snowman. Police said he has high powered long firearms, ammunition and other items.

The incident was one of the worst of its kind in Canada, where fatal attacks on police are rare.

Police cordoned off a large area in the northwest of the city and warned residents to stay inside their homes. A large blue armored police truck entered the area early on Thursday morning and a helicopter hovered overhead. Schools and government offices were shut in the small city of 70,000 in the east coast province of New Brunswick.

Police told residents not to tweet the locations of officers for fear they could be helping the gunman. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been hunting Bourque after three officers were killed late on Wednesday and two more were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The last mass killing of Canadian police took place in Mayerthorpe in the western province Of Alberta in 2005, when a gunman killed four officers before shooting himself. The losses were the most the RCMP had suffered in a day for 100 years.

Report compiled with information from Reuters.