KAMLOOPS - Police confirmed they exchanged gunfire with a man who was holed up at the G & M Trailer Park with a high-powered rifle but no one was injured in the incident.
Police first encountered the man early Friday morning, police said at a press conference this afternoon, Oct. 28. They were called to an assault at an undisclosed location on the North Shore. The investigation then led them to an address on Nanaimo Street where they located their suspect at the home of a friend.
"When police tried to make contact with the suspect, he responded by threatening to shoot police with a firearm," said Kamloops RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller.
Police tried to de-escalate the situation by speaking with him on his phone, but police say he was agitated and again threatened to shoot police. The Southeast District's Emergency Response Team was already in town on an unrelated matter and they were called in to assist.
The man, who has not yet been identified by police, then left the home with a long gun in his pickup truck with police pursuing him into the Mt. Paul Industrial Area.
"Once in this general area, the suspect shot at police from both inside his vehicle and when stopped, outside of his vehicle. There were four separate incidents of the suspect shooting at police and police returning fire in this general area," Mueller said.
Police aren't aware of any injuries in this exchange of gunfire, although Mueller said some police vehicles did suffer damage.
From there, the pursuit led to the trailer park, joined by the emergency response team, which immobilized the man's truck.
"The suspect was not in his truck at the time of this collision and a further exchange of gunfire occurred in the trailer park," Mueller said. "This area was contained and eventually the police determined the suspect was armed and barricaded in a trailer he was known to reside in."
At roughly 10:30 a.m. police then shut down the trailer park to keep residents in their homes until they were eventually evacuated. A second ERT team came up from the Lower Mainland in a convoy of police vehicles to "deal with the considerable public risks involved."
The park was evacuated in the afternoon, Mueller said, and residents cooperated with police instructions. McArthur Island Park's sports centre was used as a reception centre for evacuees.
Negotiations with the suspect began in the mid-afternoon and lasted until early this morning.
They established contact with the man inside in a "prolonged negotiation that was very tense. On several occasions, the suspect made explicit threats to police and discharged his rifle within the home."
Police shut down Highway 5 North and the trailer park for most of the afternoon, which had a ripple effect on traffic throughout the city. It reopened when the man gave in at 4 a.m.
Police have a 35-year-old man in custody but charges have not yet been laid. The suspect has a criminal record and was on bail when this incident occurred. Police believe he was on drugs during the situation but haven't confirmed if that was a factor in the suspect's behaviour.
This is the third violent incident involving firearms in the city in the past month, but Mueller said this latest incident is not related to a shooting on the North Shore earlier this week, or the shooting death of a gang member last month.
"This is not related in any fashion to the previous shooting incidents," Mueller said.
He added that gun violence is becoming an increasing concern across the province, country and continent.
"One of the worst feelings that I have is hearing 'shots fired' transmitted over the air," he said. "Whenever you hear 'shots fired,' you worry someone's not going to come home."
Mueller added he's proud of the "professionalism" and "patience" his detachment and all officers involved showed during the incident.
— This story was updated at 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 to include more information from Kamloops RCMP.
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