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Saturday 20 September 2014

Gunman suspected of killing Mounties captured

Nick Allen and David Millward

Published 07/06/2014 | 02:30

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A heavily armed Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, Canada
A heavily armed Justin Bourque walks on Hildegard Drive in Moncton, Canada
Armed officers jump out of a truck as it escorts the van transporting Justin Bourque to the courthouse in Moncton, Canada
Armed officers jump out of a truck as it escorts the van transporting Justin Bourque to the courthouse in Moncton, Canada
Emergency response officers check a residence in Moncton, Canada, searching for a suspect who shot and killed three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers the day before
Emergency response officers check a residence in Moncton, Canada, searching for a suspect who shot and killed three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers the day before

A gunman who is believed to have killed three Mounties was captured after a 30-hour manhunt, telling officers "I'm done" as he surrendered.

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Justin Bourque (24), who was clad in military fatigues, was cornered by a Swat team behind trees in a suburban garden after the crime that has prompted an outpouring of grief across Canada.

Michelle Thibodeau (21), in whose garden he was found, said: "They started yelling, 'Come out with your hands up!' and they had their guns loaded.

"About five minutes later, Justin surrendered himself and he said, 'I'm done,' and then they arrested him and brought him to my front yard where they had him sprawled on the ground.

"I'm still shaking. My heart dropped to my stomach and I felt quite sick actually."

Bourque was unarmed and dripping wet at the time of his arrest.

His weapons – an automatic rifle and a hunting rifle – were found nearby.

He is believed to have begun the killing spree on Wednesday, after opening fire on members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on a quiet residential street.

It was the deadliest attack on Canada's national police force in nearly a decade.

The victims were named as Constable David Ross (32), a dog handler, Constable Georges Gevaudan (45), originally from Boulogne-Billancourt in France, and Constable Douglas James Larche (40).

Constable Ross was a father expecting his second child.

Raquel Vander Ploeg, a family friend, said: "This is the kind of nightmare that you never wake up from."

In 2008, Constable Larche had been recognised with an award for saving the life of an unconscious baby.

The eastern Canadian city of Moncton, New Brunswick, which has a population of 60,000, came to a standstill as 300 officers had searched nearby wooded areas for Bourque with dogs, armoured vehicles and helicopters.

During the manhunt, police asked residents of the city's north-west section to remain indoors with their doors locked and exterior lights on to help the search. Much of Moncton was shut.

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Some businesses placed signs in windows saying they were closed because of the manhunt.

Friends said Bourque, who lived in a trailer park and worked at Walmart, was home schooled and came from a religious family. He was a keen moose and bird hunter.

His entries on social media websites showed him to be a conspiracy theorist, obsessed with gun rights and voicing fears that Russia was preparing to invade Canada.

Roger Brown, the Mounties' commanding officer in New Brunswick, said: "I can't dig deep enough to explain the sadness that we all feel."

Meanwhile in Seattle, Aaron Ybarra (26) was being held by police in connection with the killing of a student at a college campus.

Three other people were injured.

Jon Meis (22) a student hall monitor, was credited with preventing more carnage by using pepper spray on the gunman and disarming him. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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