A police operation sparked by reports of shots fired in a Moncton, N.B., park ended Thursday, with no suspect arrested and no indication of whether any evidence was found.
After hours of the RCMP telling residents by Twitter to stay in their homes and lock their doors, the force issued an Alert Ready message just after 6 p.m. AT telling them the operation in the Centennial Park area of Moncton had ended.
"Residents may exit their homes and return to normal activities," said the message.
In an interview, RCMP spokesperson Corp. Hans Ouellette said Codiac RCMP responded to a report around 8:30 a.m. that a vehicle was struck by bullets on Killam Drive near Millennium Boulevard.
The shots appeared to have come from the woods of nearby Centennial Park, prompting the closure of the park and the issuing of the Alert Ready message telling residents to stay inside and away from the area.
Ouellette said after hours of officers searching the park, including with help from a helicopter, no evidence was found that warranted keeping the area contained.
"There were some people that were asked to stay in their homes," he said. "Those people can now return to their regular activities."
Though the area is no longer contained, Ouellette said RCMP officers continue to search it.
"I couldn't disclose anything that we have found just for the integrity of the investigation. What I can say is that, you know, we're still actively investigating this and no arrests have been made.
"And we're also asking people who ... may have dashcam video or video or pictures of, you know, anything that would have occurred between 8 and 9 a.m., to give the Codiac Regional RCMP a call."
Ouellette couldn't say what kind of gun was involved in the shooting.
Pickup truck seen with bullet holes in it
Steven Parker, owner of Boyd's Auto Body on Millennium Boulevard, said he was at his shop on Thursday morning when a pickup truck stopped on the street in front of his business with two gunshots holes on the rear door and the rear windows broken.
Parker said the driver got out and the two of them spoke briefly before about 10 police cars arrived.
"[The driver] was kind of panicky. He was very nervous," Parker said, adding the man told him he'd been shot at higher up the street.
Parker said the police blocked off the street and officers could be seen searching the pickup truck.
Students, staff locked in
The incident prompted lockdown and hold-and-secure responses from schools in the area, including Bernice MacNaughton High School, Bessborough School, Hillcrest Middle School, Harrison Trimble High School, École Sainte-Bernadette and École Le Sommet.
By late afternoon, Anglophone East School District announced all students had been safely dismissed from schools previously under lockdown.
In a tweet Thursday evening, the district said schools will be open on Friday.
The incident also prompted the closure of Horizon Health Network's COVID-19 Assessment Centre and blood collection clinic at the Moncton Coliseum.
"If you had an appointment, please DO NOT go to the Coliseum," Horizon said, in an online notice.
The public first learned about the police operation in a morning tweet from the RCMP, about an hour after the report of gunshots.
Then at 10:17 a.m., an RCMP Alert Ready message said the force was responding to shots fired in the Centennial Park area, and for residents to lock their doors, stay away from windows and shelter in place.
In a tweet around 4:30 p.m., the RCMP said an Alert Ready update would be issued "once the search was concluded and it was safe for residents in the area to resume their daily activities."