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Police clear Centennial Park area of Moncton after shots fired, no arrests made

Click to play video: 'Shooting in Centennial Park area of Moncton' Shooting in Centennial Park area of Moncton
WATCH: RCMP in Moncton are still investigating after reports of shots fired on Thursday morning. Callum Smith reports. – May 13, 2021

The New Brunswick RCMP has secured the Centennial Park area of Moncton following a report of shots fired on Thursday morning.

“Individuals in the area can resume their daily activities. At this time no arrest has been made and the investigation is ongoing,” the RCMP said in a tweet shortly after 6 p.m.

Earlier in the day, police blocked access to the park and advised people to stay away from the area. Residents, schools, and businesses in the area were told to lock their doors, shelter in place and stay away from windows.

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No injuries have been reported. Police say they believe the incident was isolated to the park area.

A Ready Alert message was issued for the area after 10 a.m.

The RCMP initially tweeted at 9 a.m. saying Millennium Boulevard was closed to traffic due to a police operation, and officers were setting up a perimeter.

The tweet confirming it was a shots fired investigation came an hour and a half later.

‘Somebody shot at his truck’

Steven Parker, who owns Boyd’s Autobody nearby, said a truck pulled into his parking lot at about 8:30 this morning. It appeared to have some bullet holes in the rear passenger door and the rear quarter panel.

Autobody shop owner Steven Parker said a truck showed up this morning that appeared to have bullet holes. Steven Parker

He went out about 45 minutes later.

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“I didn’t talk to the gentleman, only across the parking lot. He said somebody shot at his truck. He seemed pretty upset,” said Parker.

Police showed up shortly after and told Parker to go back inside. The truck was towed away at around 10 a.m.

“It’s kind of surreal. It’s kind of close to work here,” said Parker. “Hopefully they find the guy.”

Parker says he hopes police are able to find the suspect. Callum Smith/Global News

Tammy Coughlin, who lives right off Millennium Boulevard, said she was doing dishes around 8:30 this morning when she heard “a lot of sirens.”

“So I decided to peek my head out, and that’s when I saw two, three, up to four police cars up here on the corner … they were in full on tactical gear, getting ready to pull out their long guns,” she said.

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“I was nervous and a little scared because there’s a lot of schools around here.”

She said police eventually moved out of the area and moved up the street. From what she could see, there were six or seven police cars at that time.

Tammy Coughlin believes the alert should have been sent out earlier. Callum Smith/Global News

Coughlin said she later received the Ready Alert on her phone, but she believes it should have been sent out sooner.

“My first communication was out on Facebook first, before the police communication,” she said. “I think that should have been out sooner, considering they already got the call.”

Nearby students safely dismissed

In a Facebook post, the Anglophone East School District said four schools that were under lockdown earlier that day have been safely dismissed.

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In a notice sent to parents in the afternoon, the school district said the RCMP advised Bernice MacNaughton High School to initiate its hold and secure procedure just before 9 a.m.

“As the situation progressed more schools, Bessborough, Hillcrest, Harrison Trimble, Queen Elizabeth, Birchmount and Beaverbrook enacted similar safety precautions,” the notice said.

Bernice MacNaughton High School, Bessborough School, Hillcrest Middle School and Harrison Trimble High School were told to initiate their lockdown protocol.

All schools in the Moncton area were also advised to keep students inside for recess and lunch after the RCMP sent out the Alert Ready message.

The lockdown and hold and secure notices were lifted outside the barricaded areas later in the day, though Hillcrest and Bessborough remained under the hold and secure protocol and Bernice MacNaughton remained under lockdown for the rest of the day.

All students were dismissed at regular school times, and transportation arrangements were made for students attending the locked-down school.

— With files from Callum Smith

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