When Sydney resident Sandy Maloney looked out the window of his Dieppe, New Brunswick hotel room this morning, he saw police preparing to join the search for a gunman alleged to have shot three people. Submitted
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Cape Bretoners now living in Moncton or just visiting were probably wishing they were back home Thursday after residents of the city's north end were told by police to stay at home and lock their doors after a deadly rampage Wednesday night.
A gunman dressed in military fatigues is alleged to have killed three RCMP officers and injured two others, leaving a major section of the city in lockdown as police and military scoured the area for the alleged shooter, 24-year-old Justin Bourque.
"I am quite freaked out at the moment," said Dawn Martin, who moved to Monton two years ago from Albert Bridge. "Had a friend stay with me last night and locked all doors and windows."
Sandy Maloney lives in Sydney but arrived in Moncton yesterday to do some contact work. He and his friends were in their hotel room in Dieppe watching the hockey game and ordering out for pizza when another friend, who's an RCMP officer out West, alerted them that something was going on in Moncton.
"We became aware and spoke to the gentleman at the front desk who was at the time locking the front door and advised not to let anyone outside into the premises," said Maloney. "It all became pretty real then."
When he awoke this morning, he could see police officers arriving at the hotel and preparing to head out for the day.
"You look out your hotel window and see all these officers in their SWAT uniforms and fatigues, and they're carrying these guns and that, checking them — it's pretty surreal."
Maloney left New Brunswick later in the day and said he had no problems leaving the province.
Steve Malloy has lived with his family in Moncton for the past 10 years where the former Glace Bay resident is the manager at a Telus location. Wednesday was just another day but things changed when he arrived home.
"I was out in the backyard with the dog and I saw all kinds of commotion going on," said Malloy. "I checked Facebook to find out what was going on and it said there was a shooter on the loose in my area of town — like I better get in the house right now."
Malloy said he was shocked to think that this was happening in Moncton.
"Stuff like that just doesn't happen here. It's an awful thing to think but (you wonder if) is this some kind of prank but no, it's real."
The first shooting incident took place about a block and a half from where Malloy lives so he didn't make it into work Thursday.
"Today, everything is closed — all things and businesses are closed — it's about as close to, I hate to use the term, but it's about as close to martial law as you can get without it actually being called martial law, but I think that may be the next step.
"RCMP have been asking people repeatedly to stay home but people aren't listening. So I would not be shocked at all to have the next step where the military takes over the city. It's amazing a 24-year-old with no military training has managed to outmanoueuvre RCMP from all across New Brunswick, our SWAT team plus military — two choppers in the air, armoured cars all around the city, there's SWAT vehicles — no one knows how he's doing it."
Angela Gallant who lived in Cape Breton for two years before moving to Moncton said there there's a lot of speculation and fear about what will happen next.
"Right now we don't know where he is — it's scary. Not good."