About 350 officers were part of a massive police manhunt that led to the capture of Justin Bourque, the suspect in the shootings that left three Mounties dead and two injured in Moncton, N.B., RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says.

Speaking to Evan Solomon, host of CBC Radio's The House, Paulson said he had just watched aerial footage of the incident shot by the police.

Police began searching for Bourque after the shootings Wednesday evening.

Police received a tip from a local resident about a suspicious man in a wooded area near the intersection of Wheeler Boulevard and Mountain Road in Moncton.

Teams of police converged on the site, he said.

When confronted by police, Bourque threw up his arms and surrendered.

"He put down his weapons and was very very compliant, and I think he was overwhelmed by the amount of force that he was facing there and he gave himself up," Paulson said.

  • RCMP head Bob Paulson talks about the Mountie shootings on CBC Radio's The House Saturday at 9 a.m. on CBC Radio One and SiriusXM channel 169.

Repeatedly calling the shooter a "monster," Paulson told Solomon, it was "very obvious, even on the little information that's out there, it's quite clear that this guy had murder on his mind and the murder of police officers."

"It was just beyond belief in a community like Moncton you have a monster like this roaming the streets, and it's unbelievable."

Paulson said he had just visited one of the injured officers in hospital, Const. Darlene Goguen, who was shot in the neck. 

"She was describing to me the circumstances that gave rise to that," he said, without going into more detail.

The RCMP boss added he'd also visited Const. Eric Dubois, the other officer who was wounded. Dubois, he said, "actually ran into the area with his car and collected another female officer who was under fire and got shot while he was doing that."

Asked by Solomon if the RCMP had been able to apply lessons learned from the shooting of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alta., in 2005, Paulson indicated that the force had.

"But you can't plan for one of these monsters roving the streets in their community with this amount of firepower indiscriminately shooting at people," he said.

Paulson said there will be a ceremony to honour the fallen and wounded officers sometime early next week.  

"I'm always amazed and moved to tears about how committed the men and women who work for this organization are, who work for public safety," he told Solomon.