MONCTON, New Brunswick — A man suspected of gunning down three Royal Canadian Mounted Police was caught and charged Friday, ending a 30-hour manhunt that closed schools and forced residents to hide inside their homes of this eastern Canadian city. "I'm done," a witness heard him tell police.
Police said at a news conference that they received a tip that led them to a wooded residential part of Moncton, where they found 24-year-old Justin Bourque, suspected in the deadliest attack on Canada's national police force in nearly a decade.
Police have not spoken about a possible motive.
Armed with high-powered long firearms, Bourque was spotted three times Thursday as he evaded the manhunt that all but shut down the normally tranquil city about of about 60,000 people east of the Maine border. Nearly 300 police officers searched for Bourque, who was seen going in and out of a wooded area.
RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman said Bourque was arrested at 12:10 a.m. She said he wasn't carrying any weapons, but some were found nearby. Prosecutors and police declined to comment when asked if the guns were acquired legally.
Michelle Thibodeau said she saw the man in the front yard of her home and heard him say, "I'm done," before his arrest by officers with guns drawn.
Bearded and shaggy-haired, Bourque made a brief court appearance Friday afternoon, where he was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. In aqua-colored jail clothes, he stared ahead intently, clearly paying attention but showing little emotion. He nodded when the judge said his name. He will be back in court July 3 as he seeks a lawyer.
Roger Brown, commanding officer of RCMP in New Brunswick, identified the dead as Constables David Ross, 32, originally of Victoriaville, Quebec; Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, originally of Boulogne-Billancourt in France; and Douglas James Larche of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Gun violence is rare in eastern Canada. This was the deadliest attack on the Mounties since four officers were killed by a gunman on a farm in the western Canadian province of Alberta in 2005. That attack remains the deadliest on Canadian police in 120 years.