Roads were barricaded. Doors were locked. People were holed up in their homes. But police overturned every rock and scanned every nook in Moncton’s north end to finally find the man suspected of killing three RCMP officers Wednesday night.
Earlier, helicopters had circled the area for the second night in a row as residents remained under orders to lock up and hold tight.The tension before the suspect’s capture late Thursday night had seeped far beyond the perimeter of the north end, as businesses and key city services shut down.
In the wake of the shootings, much of the business community had ground to a halt. Even on Main Street, the central drag along the muddy Petitcodiac River, there was an eerie quiet earlier Thursday, with one convenience store locked up with a “Closed Till Further Notice” sign.
The peripheral services that make Moncton tick kept their employees home. The region’s entire transit system shut down. Canada Post halted delivery. All schools in the southeastern part of the province had been closed, too.
L’Université de Moncton – Canada’s largest francophone university outside of Quebec – remained closed Thursday.
Carol O’Reilly, chief executive officer of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, praised the business community for not enticing Monctonians to leave their homes during the crisis, which could have compromised the work of police.