Date: Friday, July 15, 2022
Files: 22-26334, 22-26356
Victoria, BC – The investigation remains ongoing after officers with VicPD’s Patrol division, the Integrated Canine Service (ICS) and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) all responded when an investigation into a stolen vehicle turned up a loaded firearm and a barricaded group of people Wednesday.
Patrol officers were called to a multi-unit residential housing facility in the 700-block of Queens Avenue just before 5 p.m. for a report that a stolen vehicle had been located there. When officers arrived, they located a loaded shotgun inside as well as ammunition and accessories for other firearms. Patrol officers and an ICS officer all began to search for the man who was last seen driving the vehicle.
Just after 10 p.m., officers’ search for the suspect led them to a unit in a multi-unit temporary residential housing facility in the 200-block of Gorge Road East. Given the presence ammunition and accessories for firearms located in the vehicle, Patrol and ICS officers responded and established containment while evacuating nearby units. The suspect then opened the door of the unit and was challenged by officers who told him he was under arrest. The suspect fled back into the unit and barricaded himself inside.
GVERT, including Crisis Negotiators, responded and took over attempts to resolve the incident peacefully. Just before midnight the suspect exited the unit and gave himself up to officers. At that time, clouds of what appeared to be smoke began billowing from the suite. Victoria Fire Department firefighters arrived and determined that the cause of the clouds was not smoke, but steam released when hot water pipes were damaged when the suspect attempted to “mousehole” into neighbouring suites to avoid arrest.
Officers learned that three other people remained in the suite and called for them to exit. Two people exited, were briefly detained, and released as they were not party to the suspect’s offences. The third person remained inside and refused to exit, telling officers they believed there was an active warrant for their arrest.
Officers worked to negotiate to have this second barricaded person exit the suite. Unfortunately, negotiations failed.
With more than a foot of water now flooding both the original suite and a neighbouring suite GVERT officers deployed irritant gas just before 1 a.m. The second barricaded person surrendered to officers shortly after and was taken into custody. Emergency crews were then able to enter the suite and contain the damage.
Officers queried the second barricaded person and confirmed that this person had no outstanding arrest warrants. They were offered treatment for irritant gas exposure and released. Water service to the entire multi-unit temporary residential housing facility was shut off for several hours as crews attempted emergency repairs following the extensive damage.
The original suspect was transported to VicPD cells where he was held for court. While this file is still under investigation, he faces recommended charges including firearm possession, careless use of a firearm, possession of stolen property, two charges related to the of possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to a court order, driving while prohibited, and breach of release conditions.
No one was injured.
This file remains under investigation. If you have information about the suspect, or the incidents, please call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-8477.
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