Ottawa: Two police officers were among four people killed Friday in a shooting that sparked panic and a police lockdown in a sleepy eastern Canadian city, as the nation grapples with rising gun violence.
Residents of the Brookside neighborhood of Fredericton, New Brunswick woke to the sounds of multiple gunshots.
Witnesses told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) they saw the barrel of a rifle or shotgun poking out from the window of a low-rise apartment building and firing into a courtyard, while two bodies lay on the ground nearby.
Heavily-armed police, paramedics and firefighters quickly descended on the scene and a lockdown of the neighborhood was ordered, trapping some early risers in daycare facilities, coffee shops and businesses.
Others were escorted from their homes — some still in pyjamas and barefoot — to safety beyond a police cordon.
Fredericton Deputy Police Chief Martin Gaudet told reporters the two officers killed were responding to an emergency call about gunshots. They were identified as Lawrence Robert Costello, 45, and Sara Mae Helen Burns, 43.
"Upon arrival (at the apartment building), they observed two civilian victims on the ground. That's when they (police) were shot," Gaudet said.
Authorities in the provincial capital, about 75 kilometers (45 miles) from the border between Canada and the US state of Maine, had initially urged people in the ne...