FREDERICTON, New Brunswick — Four people, including two police officers, were killed in a shooting in eastern Canada on Friday in the latest eruption of gun violence that has led to calls for weapons bans in cities across Canada.
Police in Fredericton, a city of about 56,000 that is the capital of the province of New Brunswick, said a suspect was taken into custody and was being treated for serious wounds.
Witnesses said the shooting occurred at an apartment complex, and media images showed emergency vehicles converging on a tree-lined residential street. Nearby facilities were closed, and authorities imposed a lockdown for residents before issuing an all-clear message later in the day.
“It was scary,” said Marlene Weaver, who was in bed Friday morning when she heard shots ring out in her neighborhood. “It takes you back to the shooting in Moncton.”
She was referring to an incident in 2014, when three Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers were killed and two wounded in Moncton, New Brunswick, about 120 miles from Fredericton, in one of the worst incidents of its kind in Canada.
The latest incident occurred just three weeks after a gunman walked down a busy Toronto street, killing two people and wounding 13 others before taking his own life.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters that he could not discuss details of the latest shooting. He said the RCMP was assisting Fredericton authorities in the investigation.
“We’ll see where this investigation leads in terms of what exactly happened, who did it, what was the motivation for doing it and the instruments of destruction that were used,” he said.
“But broadly speaking, the government of Canada is obviously taking the issue of gun violence very seriously.”
Gun laws in Canada are stricter than in the United States, but a proliferation of weapons has led to an increase in gun-related crimes in recent years.
New Brunswick had three fatal shootings in all of 2016, according to Statistics Canada.
“Awful news coming out of Fredericton,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter. “My heart goes out to everyone affected by this morning’s shooting. We’re following the situation closely.”
Jeff Magnussen, general manager of a golf course near the site of the shooting, said by phone that he heard multiple gunshots before 8 a.m.
“You hear a lot about gun violence in the United States,” he said, “but this morning when I heard those noises, what’s starting to sink in is that those noises were people losing their lives. To have it happen so close to us is shocking. Now we’re becoming the story that nobody wants to hear.”
Scott Hill said he was taking his dog on a morning walk by the golf course when an employee told him to get inside because of the shooter. He said he could still hear sporadic gunfire coming from the apartment complex two hours later, when he was at the office of his property development agency.
“This sort of thing never happens here,” Hill said. “It’s happening.”