Police contain area near B.C. town in search for armed suspect

Residents to be evacuated in small B.C. community as alleged shooter remains at large.

SLOCAN CITY, B.C. – Mounties said they planned to evacuate homes in a containment zone to the west of a small B.C. community where a suspect allegedly fired on police.

RCMP Const. Kris Clark said in a news release late Thursday that the suspect remains at large in the area around the southeastern community of Slocan and that residents should remain in their homes.

Clark did not indicate how many homes in the community of about 300 people were to be evacuated.

“Due to the sensitive nature of our police operations, no further details can be provided,” he said.

Police earlier said the incident began over a dispute between two people just after noon Thursday.

“While on the scene, a male suspect allegedly fired upon police with a long rifle before retreating into the surrounding forest,” said Clark.

Additional police resources, including a helicopter and the Southeastern District Emergency Response Team have been deployed to the area.

“As this is an unfolding event with an alleged armed suspect, we are asking that the movements and locations of responding officers not be divulged through social media,” Clark said. “To do so may jeopardize police and public safety.”

No members of the public or RCMP officers have been injured, Clark said.

Immediately after the shooting, officers began warning area residents of the potential danger.

Jeff Jones, superintendent of School District 8, said all students and staff were evacuated from the school in Slocan City.

“The RCMP provided escort,” said Jones. “Parents are picking their children up at a safe spot south of the village.”

He said all students that were on buses are now with family or caregivers.

Village fire chief John Gates said police stopped him at about 2:30 p.m. Pacific time while he was on his way to pick up his car from the mechanic’s.

“A constable came out and stopped us and told us to turn around and go back home,” he said.

Gates said police cars are blocking local streets to the south, north and east.

Ben Mittellsteadt, a spokesman for the B.C. Ambulance Service in Victoria, said crews have been put on standby for what appears to be a standoff involving RCMP.