Fredericton, N.B., shooting kills four, including two police officers

Police say four people are dead, including two police officers, following a shooting Friday morning in Fredericton.

One suspect in custody is being treated for serious injuries as police say they are continuing to investigate the deadly incident in the capital of New Brunswick. On Twitter, authorities made clear there is no longer a threat to public safety.

In a news conference, Fredericton police identified the suspect as a 48-year-old Fredericton man who is currently in hospital. Police would not reveal any other details about the alleged perpetrator.

Police say officers responded to a call for shots fired in an apartment complex, and that’s when they were shot.

Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch identified two of the police officers killed while responding to the incident: Lawrence Robert Costello, 45, and Sara Mae Helen Burns, 43.

Costello leaves behind his partner and four children, while Burns is survived by her husband and three children. The two other civilian victims are not being publicly identified at this time, but police confirmed they are a man and a woman.

Police officers survey the area of a shooting in Fredericton, N.B., on August 10, 2018, which left four people dead. Photo from The Canadian Press.

“Protecting us today, they gave their lives,” Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien said of the officers. “As mayor, this is something I never want to have to live through.”

Fitch told reporters she is “extremely proud” of the response to a “dark” and “difficult” incident. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will take over the investigation moving forward.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant also offered his condolences to the victims.

“Know that all New Brunswickers and Canadians mourn with you,” Gallant said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the news “awful” and said the federal government is “following the situation closely.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters in Sarnia, Ont., that the incident is “a huge tragedy for the whole country.” He added the federal government is taking the issue of gun violence “very seriously” and has been for months now.

“Canada is a safe and secure country,” the minister told reporters.

Just before 7 a.m. ET, police issued a statement on Twitter urging people to stay away from Brookside Drive as they were responding to an ongoing incident. They later asked residents to keep their doors locked as a safety precaution.

Thirty minutes after initially tweeting about the incident, police confirmed “multiple fatalities” from a shooting. They had previously warned the public not to expose the whereabouts of police as they worked to address the situation.

A witness in Fredericton told HuffPost Canada he said he woke up to the sound of gunshots outside his window.

“There was two cops laying there that were I believe deceased on the ground, and there was one deceased civilian,” the unidentified man said.

Fredericton resident David MacCoubrey told The Associated Press he heard as many as 20 gunshots and was hiding on his kitchen floor as police investigated.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant also offered his condolences to the victims.

“Know that all New Brunswickers and Canadians mourn with you,” Gallant said.

Fredericton is a city on Canada’s East Coast with a population of 59,405, according to Statistics Canada census data from 2016. The province of New Brunswick sits east of the U.S. border, adjacent to Maine.

In June 2014, a string of shootings in Moncton, N.B., left three RCMP officers dead and two wounded.