Distraught 67-year-old could be charged after armed standoff with Kelowna RCMP | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Distraught 67-year-old could be charged after armed standoff with Kelowna RCMP

June 04, 2021 - 5:36 PM

What started as a 911 call about a fire in a Kelowna apartment building turned into a heavy police response for a distraught man yesterday.

RCMP officers responded to an urgent call for help from the Kelowna Fire Department who had responded to a complaint of a fire at an apartment building in the 1000 block of Harvey Avenue, according to an RCMP media release. The incident occurred on June 3, just before 6 a.m.

An extremely distraught man was found inside the building with obvious injuries, RCMP said. The man, armed with a knife and bear spray, confronted fire crews be before barricading himself inside a unit of the building.

"Concerned for the safety and wellbeing for the other occupants of the building firefighters and then front line officers took steps to evacuate residents, who were provided temporary shelter on public transit buses. RCMP worked diligently to provide cover and protection to firefighters who worked strategically to fight the fire and evacuate smoke from the building," RCMP media liaison Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy said in the release.

Part of Harvey Avenue was closed off and a detour established around the scene. The area around the building was cordoned off as well.

The Southeast District Critical Incident Program’s Emergency Response team was deployed to the scene along with the critical incident commander and crisis negotiator, RCMP said.

The distraught man, aged 67, was taken into custody, assessed by emergency services and transported to hospital for medical treatment. He has since been released from custody pending further investigation. He could face charges.

"At this time, we believe that the injuries sustained by the man arrested were self-inflicted, and investigators are in the process of determining the cause of the fire in this building," Cpl. Noseworthy said. "Multiple front line RCMP officers who arrived on scene to assist fire crews in the first instance, were treated by emergency paramedics for smoke inhalation.

"Furthermore, a member of the Southeast District RCMP Emergency Response Team sustained a non-life-threatening injury, which required medical attention at hospital.”

RCMP say no further details are being released to the public at this time.

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