TORONTO • A shooting in a small Canadian city Friday that left four people dead, including two police officers who were responding to a call of shots fired, struck a nerve in a country that has been roiled in recent months by several instances of mass violence.
People in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick province, said they heard as many as 20 gunshots following a confrontation that prompted police to initially cordon off a large section of the city with emergency vehicles and order residents to remain indoors.
Finally, after a tense period of waiting, authorities disclosed the toll: Among the four killed were two officers, a rare case of police killed in the line of duty in Canada.
Fredericton’s deputy police chief Martin Gaudet said the two officers arrived at the apartment complex and saw two dead civilians before being shot and killed themselves.
Gaudet says a 48-year-old man with serious injuries was arrested. They didn’t identify him. No motive has been disclosed for the shooting.
The entire province had 11 homicides in 2016.
In Fredericton, a city of about 60,000 residents, people said they were stunned by the scene, which occurred as people were heading to work or dropping children at a day care center not far from the apartment complex where the shooting occurred.
“This is the first time I’ve even heard of any serious crime or violent crime in this city,” said Travis Hrubeniuk, whose fiancee had just left their home when the sirens began.
The shooting comes as Canada wrestles with a string of violence, including an instance in Toronto last month where a man with a handgun opened fire in a crowded part of the city, killing two people and wounding 13 before he either shot himself or was killed by police.
In April, a man who linked himself to a misogynistic online community used a van to run down pedestrians in a busy part of Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 14.