Canada shooting: police among four killed in Fredericton

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Four people, including two police officers, have been killed in a shooting in the eastern Canadian city of Fredericton.

While the circumstances of the shooting remain unclear, police said on Friday morning that they had taken one suspect into custody and that the investigation was ongoing.

The suspect was being treated for serious injuries stemming from the incident, police said on Twitter.

The shooting has rocked the city of 58,000 people, who were initially told by police on Friday morning to avoid the area and stay in their homes.

Police also asked social media users to refrain from giving details online of the the position or activities of police or first responders.

A resident, David MacCoubrey, told the Canadian Press he was woken at 7am by three gunshots, which sounded as if they were fired 10 metres from his bed. Over the next 90 minutes or so, he heard more than 15 other gunshots.

The gunfire appeared to be coming from the middle of his apartment complex, which consisted of four buildings in the shape of a square, he said.

 Witness to Canada shooting recounts moment he heard guns – video

“Awful news coming out of Fredericton,” the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Twitter. “My heart goes out to everyone affected by this morning’s shooting. We’re following the situation closely.”

While gun laws in Canada are far more strict than in neighbouring United States, a proliferation of weapons has led to an increase in gun crimes in recent years.

In 2014, three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were killed and two others wounded in a mass shooting in the east coast city of Moncton, New Brunswick.

Last month, a gunman opened fire on a busy Toronto street, killing two people and wounding 13 others before turning his weapon on himself.

In the wake of the shooting, federal officials said they were considering a ban on handguns.

Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has had 241 shooting incidents so far this year, resulting in 30 deaths, a 30% increase in fatalities over the same period last year.