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Hunt On for Suspect In Canadian Police Killings

  • A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov)

    A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov)

  • A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov)

    A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov)

  • A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov) MANDATORY CREDIT

    A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • 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  on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

    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 on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

  • 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  on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

    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 on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

    Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

    Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

  • A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov)
  • A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov)
  • A heavily armed man that police have identified as Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, after several shots were fired in the area. The man, suspected of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, was spotted three times Thursday but has so far eluded a massive manhunt, police said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Moncton Times & Transcript, telegraphjournal.com, Viktor Pivovarov) MANDATORY CREDIT
  • 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  on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)
  • 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  on Wednesday June 4, 2014. Three police officers were shot dead and two others injured in a rare case of gun violence in the east coast Canadian province of New Brunswick, officials said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers use their vehicles to create a keep a perimeter in Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The RCMP in New Brunswick said an undisclosed number of people have been shot and a manhunt is underway in the north end of Moncton for a man armed with guns.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marc Grandmaison)

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.

Police were using air support, tactical teams and canine units, she said. Several hundred officers from New Brunswick and elsewhere from across Canada were involved.

“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.

At one point, 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 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.

Police did not identify the dead or injured officers.

It was the deadliest attack on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 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 officers in 120 years.

Snowman said Bourque was not known to police.

Commanding Officer Roger Brown said the two wounded officers underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries Thursday and he met with their families.

“The RCMP family is hurting. As is Moncton, New Brunswick and our country,” Brown said.

Christian Duquette, a neighbor of Bourque’s, said the suspect attracted little attention in the small Moncton trailer park where he lived.

“He was a loner. He was never out in the park socializing. Aside from that, he was just your average Joe in a trailer park,” Duquette said.

Duquette, 37, said he last saw the young man about a week ago in the drab white trailer on Pioneer Avenue, where he lived with at least one roommate.

The street is adjacent to a suburb where police say Bourque confronted them Wednesday at about 7:30 p.m. and opened fire.

Other residents said they had seen Bourque walking up the middle of Pioneer Avenue just before that, armed with at least one gun and in camouflage clothing.

Such violence is rare in Canada, particularly on the east coast.

The three officers were the first Canadian police killed in the line of duty since March 2013, when a police officer in northern Quebec was shot after responding to a domestic violence call.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website, the last officer to die from a gunshot wound was on Nov. 5, 2007.

In 1974, two Moncton officers were kidnapped, shot and killed after making a traffic stop.