A fugitive suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers was seen three times Thursday but so far has managed to evade arrest despite a massive manhunt taking place in the normally calm east coast city of Moncton, police said.
Justin Bourque, 24, was spotted in three different places around the search area of Moncton, said RCMP Commander Marlene Snowman per ABC News. Police said he is armed with high powered long firearms, ammunition, and other items.
In one of the sightings, he was seen coming in and out of a wooded area, Snowman said.
“He’s capable of moving into the wooded area and out,” she said.
Investigators have yet to determine the motive behind the killings – the deadliest attack on the RCMP in nearly a decade. Three officers were killed when responding to a call about an armed man in the north end of Moncton. Two other officers are being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Snowman said Bourque was not known to police.
“Quite honestly I don’t know where he is at this time,” RCMP Commanding Officer Roger Brown said. “The RCMP family is hurting. As is Moncton, New Brunwick and our country,” Brown added.
Heavily armed RCMP officers are making their way through streets and the woods in search of the missing fugitive, who was wearing military camouflage and carrying two rifles in a picture released by police on Twitter.
Schools and government offices were closed due to the event, and the city pulled its buses off the roads. Mail delivery has also been suspended.
The homicides were the first this year in the safe city of Moncton, a city of 69,000 people and about 180 miles east of the Maine border. RCMP Const. Damien Theriault said the city had no homicides last year.
“We have been blessed until this point,” Theriault told The Associated Press.
Canada Cop-Killing Fugitive Evades Arrest After 3 Sightings