MONCTON, N.B. — They got him!
The intense manhunt for the suspect in the killing of three RCMP officers and wounding of two others ended early Friday morning with the arrest of Justin Bourque, 24, ending a tense two days for residents who were preparing to start their day still hunkered in basements and waiting.
Hundreds of police officers from all over the province were hunting Bourque, who was arrested about 12:10 a.m. local time, the prime suspect in Wednesday night's bloodbath.
Michelle Thibodeau tweeted: "He was in my backyard. I saw him arrested in front of my eyes. He is alive. Thank you.
"The swat team arrived at my house and unloaded and started screaming in my backyard for him to surrender and he did," she tweeted. "I watched it happen.
"They had him sprawled on my front lawn for some time and then loaded him into the swat vehicle. They are now checking my yard for firearms."
One of those gunned down was Dave Ross, a police dog handler who has a young son and whose wife Rachel is expecting their second child.
His cousin Lucinda said Ross, formerly of Victoriaville, Que., "was passionate about his work."
"All my thoughts are with his wife, his son and his family," Lucina said on Facebook. "Rest in peace Dave."
Lunicda's brother, William, said Ross' "parents went to join him."
Late Thursday, Victoriaville Mayor Alain Rayes said the city would place its flags at half-mast on municipal buildings until the day of the funeral.
"We want to offer our deepest condolences to those people who have lost a loved one who died in fulfilling its duty and ensuring our safety in the performance of his duties," Rayes said. "Our thoughts are also with the families and friends of other deceased and injured in this tragic event..."
The city had remained under siege in a "very, very dangerous situation," Cpl. Chantal Farrah said during a news conference earlier Thursday.
Officers looking for Bourque, locked down an area in the north part of the city Wednesday night and continued to urge residents to stay locked inside their homes.
"It has been perhaps the darkest day in the history of the New Brunswick RCMP," Commanding Officer Roger Brown said.
Earlier, police descended on a rooming house but then dispersed about two hours later and wouldn't comment on what happened.
The suspect was last seen around 8 a.m. Thursday, Codiac RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman said.
An earlier report of a sighting proved to be unfounded.
"This is a difficult time for Moncton," she said. "Our thoughts are with the families and with the community as well."
Brown described the investigation as "working through your worst nightmare."
Police responded to a call at about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday of a man walking down the street carrying firearms. Three of the responding officers were shot and killed. Two others sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to hospital. One remained in stable condition late Thursday, while the other had been released.
Police didn't officially release the names of the deceased and injured officers.
Pictures of the suspect circulating online show a white man in his 20s or 30s clad in camouflage and carrying a rifle and another weapon.
Justin Bourque's Facebook page features a number of posts about guns and cops. The most recent post, written just before Wednesday night's shooting spree, is lyrics from the Megadeth song, Hook In Mouth: "Don't try to fool us, we know the worst is yet to come./ I believe my kingdom will come."
Allen Rollin, who lives in the area that is locked down, said he and his family heard police helicopters and sirens all night. The street outside his home was deserted.
"It's a ghost town right now," he said from his basement. "There's not one person on the street."
Marc-Andre Frenette, who lives near the scene of the shooting, told QMI Agency's sister news channel LCN that he sought refuge after the shots rang out.
"We barricaded ourselves in the basement since we were just a few blocks (away)," he said. "I heard about 20 shots. I heard the second volley. There were three rounds in all. I only heard the second volley, there were more than that before and afterward."