MONCTON, New Brunswick — Royal Canadian Mounted Police combed the streets and woods of this normally tranquil city Thursday in search of a man suspected of killing three officers in the deadliest attack on their ranks in nearly a decade.
The suspect, 24-year-old Justin Bourque, was armed with high-powered long firearms. He was spotted three times while eluding the massive manhunt that emptied roads and kept families hunkered in their homes in Moncton, an east coast city where gun violence is rare.
Dozens of police officers could be seen in a part of the search perimeter with their weapons drawn, some glancing around buildings. Others, including members of a tactical unit, were patrolling streets within the cordoned off area. Armored security trucks were also visible.
"Our search for the suspect is still ongoing," RCMP Cpl. Chantal Farrah told a news conference Thursday afternoon. "Our focus remains in the mountain north area."
Police urged residents to keep their doors locked and to turn on exterior lights to help the search.
"Stay at home, bar your doors and be vigilant," Farrah said. "I know it's hard for families. You are in your house, you are locked, you have your kids, you want to go outside. But the police are saying to stay in."
Police were using air support, tactical teams and canine units, she said.
"We have deployed a large amount of resources from here and elsewhere, and we are well-equipped to face this situation," Farrah said.
Bourque was spotted three times around the search area Thursday morning, said Commander Marlene Snowman.
Bourque was wearing military camouflage and carrying two rifles in a picture released by police on Twitter.
Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting Wednesday evening, in which three officers were killed while responding to a call about an armed man. Two other officers were wounded.