Loading articles...

Shooting in N.B. triggers outpouring of condolence from political leaders

Last Updated Aug 10, 2018 at 9:59 am PDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers reporters' questions concerning Canada's relationship with Saudi Arabia during a visit to CAE in Montreal, Wednesday, August 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led a cascade of condolences from Canada’s political quarters Friday as word emerged of a deadly shooting in Fredericton that killed four people, including two municipal police officers.

“My heart goes out to everyone affected by this morning’s shooting,” Trudeau tweeted as many Canadians woke up to news of fatal gunshots echoing across a suburban neighbourhood in the maritime city’s early hours. New Brunswick health officials said multiple people were being treated for injuries in hospital.

Trudeau, who was scheduled to be in Toronto later in the day at an event to honour the two victims of a shooting in that city last month, said the federal government is following the Fredericton situation closely.

Police cordoned off a neighbourhood in the city early in the day after multiple shots were fired, and now say one person in custody is being treated for serious injuries. They also say there is no longer any threat to the public. An official update on the situation was scheduled for later Friday.

All Canadians stand with the two officers who were killed, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who also expressed deep concern about what had happened. Fredericton police are handling the incident with assistance from the RCMP, he added.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant urged those in the neighbourhood that is involved to continue to follow the direction of police.

“On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I offer my condolences, thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families,” Gallant tweeted. “During this difficult time, our thoughts are also with the courageous women and men on the front lines working to keep us safe.”

Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief who just last month was tapped to serve as Trudeau’s minister of border security and organized crime reduction, offered comfort directly to Fredericton’s police chief.

“I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to all the victims,” he tweeted, “including Chief Leanne Fitch on the tragic death of two of her officers in the service of their community.”

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer offered prayers for the families of the officers and everyone impacted, while NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expressed solidarity with first responders.

Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney also joined the online chorus, citing the perils faced daily by law enforcement officials.

“We are all shocked and saddened to learn this morning of the ongoing tragic incident in Fredericton,” Kenney said, calling it a “reminder of the risks our brave men and women in uniform are willing to take every day to keep us safe.”

Gun violence has been a hot topic among politicians and the Canadian public this summer, particularly after several high-profile shootings in the city of Toronto.