The officers were attacked in the eastern city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, in the latest eruption of gun violence that has led to renewed calls for weapons bans in Canadian cities. Police in Fredericton, a city of about 56,000, said a suspect was in custody and being treated for serious injuries.
It comes just three weeks after a gunman walked down a busy Toronto street, killing two people and wounding 13 others before taking his own life.
Firearms laws in Canada are stricter than in the US but a proliferation of weapons has led to an increase in gun-related crimes in recent years.
In 2014, three officers were killed and two more were wounded in Moncton, New Brunswick, 121 miles from Fredericton, in one of the worst incidents in Canada.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said: “Awful news coming out of Fredericton. My heart goes out to everyone affected.”
During yesterday’s horror authorities imposed a lockdown on terrified residents as images showed emergency vehicles converging on a tree-lined residential street.
Jeff Magnussen, manager of a golf course, said he heard multiple gunshots. He said: “You hear a lot about gun violence in the US, but what’s starting to sink in is that those noises were people losing their lives. To have it happen so close to us is shocking.
“Now we’re becoming the story that nobody wants to hear.”
Marlene Weaver, who was in bed yesterday morning when she heard shots, said: “It was scary. It takes you back to the shooting in Moncton.”
Yesterday police said: “Of the four people killed…two were Fredericton Police officers.
“No names are being released at this time. Please appreciate this is a difficult time for their families and our colleagues.”
In the wake of the Toronto bloodshed, the city council voted overwhelmingly to urge the federal government to ban the sale of handguns in the city.
Canada’s largest city has had 241 shooting incidents this year, resulting in 30 deaths.
The Liberal government unveiled proposals in March to tighten already tough gun control laws to address a spike in crimes.
They involved firearms including a deadly attack on a mosque last year.
The measures would enhance background checks on people seeking to buy firearms, especially those with a history of violence.