Canada Police Shooting Suspect Spotted Three Times But Eludes Dragnet

PHOTO: Authorities have identified the suspect in a fatal shooting in New Brunswick, Canada, June 4, 2014, as Justin Bourque, 24.
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The gunman who is the object of a massive manhunt after allegedly shooting five police officers this morning has been spotted three times by Canadian cops but not yet caught.

Residents in the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, have been on lockdown for hours as police searched for the gunman - dressed in military fatigues and heavily armed - whom they identified as 24-year-old Justin Bourque.

Police said at a news conference this morning that they spotted Bourque coming in and out of some woods and that he is armed with high-powered long guns, a crossbow and knives.

The dragnet began Wednesday night after residents in Moncton reported seeing a man firing shots randomly in a neighborhood around 7:30 p.m. Police responded and five officers were shot, three of whom died and two of whom were injured.

"We are still actively looking for the shooter," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Damien Theriault said. "He is believed to still be in the Pinehurst subdivision area of Moncton. We are urging people in that area to stay inside and lock their doors and for people to stay away from that area."

PHOTO: Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Damien Theriault and Mayor George LeBlanc pause to collect themselves before addressing the media during a late night news conference at City Hall in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014.
Marc Grandmaison/The Canadian Press/AP Photo
PHOTO: Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Damien Theriault and Mayor George LeBlanc pause to collect themselves before addressing the media during a late night news conference at City Hall in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014.

The police force shared an image of a suspect wearing military camouflage and wielding two guns.

Following the shooting, police closed off nearby roads, trying to find the suspect.

PHOTO: Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014, following a shooting.
Marc Grandmaison/The Canadian Press/AP Photo
PHOTO: Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014, following a shooting.

Residents huddled in fear, staying inside their homes.

Local businesses are locked down.

PHOTO: Employees of a grocery store lock down their store in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014 following a shooting.
Marc Grandmaison/The Canadian Press/AP Photo
PHOTO: Employees of a grocery store lock down their store in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014 following a shooting.

Police shared updates online, urging residents not to share information about the police operation over social media.

Schools remain closed today, and public transportation is not in service.

Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc advised residents to pay strict attention to the RCMP warnings.

"It is a terrible tragedy," he said. "We as a city must pull together as a family to support those who have suffered losses."

PHOTO: Police officers take cover behind their vehicles in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014 following a shooting.
Ron Ward/Moncton Times & Transcript/The Canadian Press/AP Photo
PHOTO: Police officers take cover behind their vehicles in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 4, 2014 following a shooting.

Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister, issued a statement about the tragedy.

"This violent incident is a stark reminder that our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line in Canada every day to protect our citizens and communities," he said. “The sacrifice of these brave officers will be honoured and remembered."

Gun violence is rare in Canada, particularly on Canada's East Coast. Theriault said the city of Moncton didn't have a homicide last year or this year until Wednesday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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