Ontario Provincial Police offered few details about the shooting in Wilno, a small community about 180 kilometres west of Ottawa, but confirmed that someone was killed during the shooting that took place mid morning.
Police advised local businesses to lock their doors and urged some residents to relocate while they searched for the gunman. Two schools in the area were also in lockdown.
Sara Burchat was home alone when police advised her that there was a male suspect on the loose near her property. Burchat said her husband was trying to return to be with her, but was kept away by road closures as the police investigated the scene.
Burchat said she was left shaken by the incident, adding that no one has been given any information as to who was involved.
Arthur Shulist, owner of Wilno Building Supply, said he was instructed to secure the store.
“We have our doors locked and when somebody comes to the door we open up for them.”
Clinton Roche, owner of the Wilno Station and Country Kitchen Cafe, said he was concerned for his mother who was closer to the area currently being held under lockdown.
He had fewer concerns for his own safety.
“I’m kind of in an open area here, I don’t think he’s going to come storming into our station to take us hostage…he’s more worried about himself right now”
Mike Harrington, who runs an auto body shop near Cormac, Ont., said he could see about 50 police officers from his home nearby.
Several area residents reached by The Canadian Press said they were hearing rumours about the suspected gunman’s identity.
“This is a small community. We know our neighbours, so even when a name is thrown out as a suspect it’s very personal. We know these people,” said Corinne Higgins, owner of the Wilno Tavern Restaurant.
Local residents said Wilno’s main strip was a hive of police activity for about an hour in the mid morning, but said the search appears to have shifted to outlying regions of the quaint village identified on its website as Canada’s first Polish settlement.