Canada shooting: Police tell public to 'avoid area' after at least four killed in Fredericton, before suspect detained

canada shooting police tell public to avoid area after at least four killed in fredericton before suspect detained
Canada shooting: Police tell public to 'avoid area' after at least four killed in Fredericton, before suspect detained

Four people including two police officers have been shot dead in the Canadian city of Fredericton.

One suspect has been arrested over the gun attack in New Brunswick province following a manhunt during which residents were told to remain in their homes and lock their doors.

The country’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, paid tribute to the victims of Friday morning’s shooting. No further details of those killed have been released.

Witnesses said they had heard gunshots shortly after 7am (10am GMT). A journalist at the scene reported hearing four gunshots more than an hour later.

Fredericton Police tweeted that the shooting incident “active” at 9am local time (noon GMT.)

The force told people to “avoid the area of Brookside Drive between Main and Ring Road”, a mainly residential area.

Local media reported that an armoured police vehicle was on the scene and officers were evacuating people from the area.

“The public is asked to avoid the area and stay in their homes with doors locked at this time for their safety,” police tweeted.

“At this time, we can confirm multiple fatalities. The incident is ongoing. More information will be available when we can.

“Thank you for your patience as we continue to work at this active incident.”

Police urged people not to use social media to report on the location of officers.

David MacCoubrey, who lives in Brookside Drive, said he awoke at 7am to the sound of gunshots close to his home.

He said heard about 20 shots in total and hid on his kitchen floor.

Mr MacCoubrey said it sounded as though the gunfire was coming from within his apartment complex, comprised of four buildings in a square.

Police later searched the complex, including his flat.

Fredericton Police said at 9.45am local time (12.45pm GMT) that one suspect was in custody. They gave no further details and did not say where the shooting took place.

“Police continue to have the Brookside area contained for the foreseeable future as the investigation is ongoing. Please continue to avoid the area,” the force tweeted.

“Awful news coming out of Fredericton,” Mr Trudeau said on Twitter. “My heart goes out to everyone affected by this morning’s shooting. We’e following the situation closely.”

Fredericton, a city with a population of about 58,000, is the capital of New Brunswick in eastern Canada.

In 2014, three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were killed another two wounded in a mass shooting in the New Brunswick city of Moncton.

At the time, the gun attack was one of the worst of its kind in Canada, where gun laws are stricter than in the United States and deadly attacks on police are rare. But a proliferation of weapons has led to an increase in gun crimes in recent years.

On Thursday, Ontario pledged more money for police and vowed to keep suspects behind bars while they await trial on gun crimes charges as the Canadian province grapples with rising shootings.

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