Police in New Brunswick and Canadian border officials say they’re monitoring the manhunt in the state of Maine, as police there search for a suspect in connection to a mass shooting.
Hundreds of police officers have fanned across Maine, following shootings at a bar and bowling alley in the city of Lewiston on Wednesday evening.
At least 18 people are dead and 13 others are injured.
State and local police have identified Robert R. Card, 40, as a suspect in the case. Officials have released photographs of a a bearded man in a brown hoodie and jeans at one of the crime scenes, holding what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle.
Lewiston, Me., is located about three-and-a-half hours from either the St. Stephen or Woodstock borders in New Brunswick.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Thursday that they’re working closely with Canadian and U.S. law enforcement “to ensure the safety and security of Canadians and protect Canada’s borders against any threat or (attempted) illegal entry.”
CBSA senior spokesperson Jacqueline Roby said the agency had issued an “Armed & Dangerous – Firearms lookout,” which alerts border officers about the high-risk situation.
Maine shares 18 official entry points with New Brunswick, and another six with Quebec, according to CBSA’s website. All points of entry remained open on Thursday.
Meanwhile, New Brunswick RCMP said they were “aware of the situation in Maine” and were monitoring it “in collaboration with our law enforcement partners.”
Woodstock Police Chief Gary Forward, who is also the president of the New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police, told Global News that “all agencies are aware and working collaboratively in the event any outcome should unfold in the Province.”
“Agencies in New Brunswick will continue to monitor and share information as it is received, while responding accordingly should the need arise,” Forward wrote in an email.
St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern said he was aware of American authorities at the border “checking people leaving the country,” and Canadian police on the other side “doing the same, as we speak.”
As well, St. Stephen residents will be receiving an alert Thursday afternoon to remind them to be vigilant.
“We got that alert app. We’re going to put it out to make sure everyone knows: keep your eyes and ears open for any strange activity,” he said.
As word spread about the shooting, St. Stephen Deputy Mayor Ghislaine Wheaton said residents of the border town were feeling particularly affected by the tragedy.
“They’re very upset and very sad,” she said.
“You hear about it all the time on television, but when it’s people you know, it just seems to have a deeper, deeper impact.”
Among the border crossings between Quebec and Maine are the Armstrong-Jackman, Ste-Aurélie, and Coburn Gore-Woburn crossings. Each is about three to four hours away from Lewiston, ME.
Montreal police confirmed in an email that it is monitoring the situation in Maine and is in contact with its partners.
On social media, Quebec Premier François Legault described the shooting as an unspeakable sorrow and said his thoughts are with the victim’s families and residents in Lewiston.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs offered his condolences as well, calling the shooting a “horrific event.”
“Our thoughts are with our neighbours in Maine and the first responders and their families who are continuing to deal with this ongoing emergency,” he wrote on social media.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Thursday that the federal government was working to provide support where necessary.
“Our thoughts go out to our friends in Maine and neighbors in Maine who are suffering a terrible, terrible moment right now,” he said
“Of course, we have been engaged with our border services agencies and with appropriate police forces to ensure extra protections for Canadians.”
— with files from Reuters, The Canadian Press and Global News’ Kalina Laframboise and Sean Boynton
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