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Police say suspect in fatal Langham, Sask. shooting believed to be dead

Residents of a Saskatchewan town were told to remain indoors following a fatal shooting Friday morning.

People living in Langham were instructed to shelter in place as RCMP searched for a suspect in the shooting.

According to an emergency notification sent around 7:40 a.m., the male suspect was believed to be armed.

The alert came as many in the town were about to begin their morning commute to Saskatoon, located roughly 30 kilometres southeast of the community.

In a second alert sent just after 9 a.m., RCMP said officers responded to the shooting early in the morning. One person was confirmed dead following the incident, the alert said.

The updated alert said police were searching for Justin Heimbecker. He was last seen on foot and it was not known whether he had access to a vehicle.

Langham residents were told to seek shelter or shelter in place and to close and lock doors and windows. Drivers in the area were told not to pick up hitchhikers.

According to a social media post by Corman Park Police Service, which serves the area surrounding Saskatoon, Heimbecker had been located around 11:40 a.m.

"There is no longer a threat to the public," the post said.

In a news release sent around 12:15 p.m., RCMP said the shelter-in-place order had been lifted.

Shortly after 1 p.m., in an update sent to news media, RCMP said a male had been found dead inside a home in the town that had been on fire earlier in the day.

Police believe the dead male to be Heimbecker but have not fully confirmed his identity. The RCMP major crimes unit is investigating.

Still processing what happened, deputy mayor Dylan Smart spoke to CTV News Friday afternoon.

"Just hug each other a little tighter tonight please and everyone out there send your thoughts and prayers because our community can definitely use it in this time of need.” Smart said, tearing up.

"It’s always another town, another city, another country — but then to actually see your town, your community, I can tell you it was a shock. Without a doubt, I think we’re still in shock."

A heavy police presence was seen in the community during the search for Heimbecker.

Just before 11:30 a.m., a plane could be seen circling in the air above the town, conducting an apparent aerial search.

The alerts said Heimbecker should not be approached and that anyone who believed they had seen him should call 911.

Residents were advised to avoid disclosing police locations.

Rjay Mirosovsky moved to Langham about a year ago.

He said he was shocked to see his town was listed in the alert. Mirosovsky quickly locked his doors and closed the windows as he waited for an update from RCMP.

“It was definitely a little tense, a little surprising especially because we didn’t know what was going on," Mirosovsky said.

“We weren’t really expecting something like this to happen in a small town.”

 Langham mayor Gary Epp spoke to CTV News by phone Friday morning during the lockdown, calling the shooting an "unfortunate incident" and offering his condolences to those affected.

Like others living in the town, he said there was little information available outside of the details provided in the two dangerous person alerts that were sent to mobile phone users in the area.

"I just hope everyone stays indoors and stays safe," he said. 

According to accounts on social media, anyone entering the town was stopped by police. Once cleared by the officers, residents were instructed to head directly home and remain indoors.

Some businesses remained closed for the entire day following the scare. Other businesses and buildings began opening up after police gave the all-clear.

Jessie Monz spoke to CTV News as she was opening up the Langham Museum for the afternoon.

“It was very chaotic morning checking the news every five minutes to see when it was safe to come in,” Monz said.

--With files from Keenan Sorokan Top Stories

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