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Suspect caught after Canadian Mountie killings

MONCTON, New Brunswick--The man suspected in the shooting deaths of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the wounding of two others in a rare case of gun violence in eastern Canada was arrested early Friday, police said.

Justin Bourque was arrested at around 12:30 a.m., said Paul Greene, a spokesman with the RCMP. Authorities had named the 24-year-old Bourque as their suspect after the shootings Wednesday evening in the northwest area of the city.

The attack on the Mounties' ranks was the deadliest in nearly a decade.

Michelle Thibodeau said she saw the Moncton man arrested in the front yard of her home. Thibodeau, 21, said she heard the suspect say, “I'm done,” prior to his arrest by officers with guns drawn.

Much of this normally quiet Canadian city of about 60,400 people was on lockdown prior to the arrest, with frightened residents huddled in their homes as Mounties scoured the eerily quiet streets in search of the man suspected of killing three of their own.

A motive for the shootings was not known, and neighbors of the suspect described a withdrawn man who collected guns and was an avid hunter of birds, deer and moose.

“He never missed a season,” said Kerry Fitzpatrick, who lives half a block away from Bourque and was at home when he heard the sound gunfire. When he later heard Bourque might be the shooter, he walked over to Bourque's trailer. He found an open door and Bourque's wallet on the table.

“He lost it. The guy lost it,” Fitzpatrick said.

Bourque, who was armed with high-powered long firearms, was spotted three times Thursday but still managed to elude the massive manhunt that all but shut down the city about 290 kilometers east of the Maine border.

Police released a map of a large portion of the northwest section of the city, including a heavily wooded area, where they wanted people to remain indoors with their doors locked. They urged residents to turn on exterior lights to help the search. Many parts of Moncton, including much of its popular downtown area, were completely shut down, with some businesses placing signs in windows explaining they were closed because of the manhunt.

Schools and government offices were closed. The city pulled its buses off the roads and mail delivery was suspended. Police commandeered armored trucks.

1 Comment
June 7, 2014    mrrudy@
Americans don't understand why the RCMP did not kill Bourque at the time he was being arrested. After posting a comment on the ABC television network that the police did not fire a single shot or beat Bourque during the arrest process, there were more than a dozen reply comments that basically condemned -- condemned -- the RCMP for capturing him alive, many adding that because peace loving Americans are allowed and expected to possess an assortment of guns, ordinary citizens would have gunned Bourque down in revenge and as a lesson to others who might want to commit murder.
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A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer rests his head at a roadblock in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Thursday, June 5.

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