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Canada shooting leaves 4 dead

Residents attend a candlelight vigil at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

Residents attend a candlelight vigil at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick (Reuters) – Four people, including two police officers, were killed in a shooting in eastern Canada on Friday in the latest eruption of gun violence across the country that has led to calls for weapons bans in cities.

Police in Fredericton, a city of about 56,000 that is the capital of the province of New Brunswick, said a suspect was in custody and was being treated for serious injuries. A local health official said multiple shooting victims were being treated at one hospital.

Witnesses said the shooting occurred at an apartment complex, and local media showed emergency vehicles converging on a tree-lined residential street. Nearby facilities were closed and authorities imposed a lockdown for residents before issuing an all-clear message.

Officials identified the slain officers as Sara Mae Burns, 43, and Lawrence Robb Costello, 45. They did not release the names of the two civilians who were killed, and said only that the suspect was a 48-year-old Fredericton man. They did not release information about a possible motive or the weapon.

“It was scary,” said Marlene Weaver, who was in bed on Friday morning when she heard shots. “It takes you back to the shooting in Moncton.”

She was referring to a 2014 incident in which three Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers were killed and two wounded in Moncton, New Brunswick, about 195 km (121 miles) from Fredericton in one of the worst incidents of its kind in Canada.

Friday’s shooting occurred three weeks after a gunman walked down a busy Toronto street, killing two people and wounding 13 before killing himself.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters the RCMP were assisting Fredericton authorities in the investigation.

“We’ll see where this investigation leads in terms of what exactly happened, who did it, what was the motivation for doing it and the instruments of destruction that were used,” he said.

“But broadly speaking, the government of Canada is obviously taking the issue of gun violence very seriously.”

Gun laws in Canada are stricter than in the United States but a proliferation of weapons has led to an increase in gun-related crimes in recent years.

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