Standoff update indicates police took cover from gunshots

Justin Korelus, 23, of Abbotsford has now been charged in connection to the incident that took place Tuesday on Bourquin Crescent.

A member of the emergency response team arrives at the scene of a standoff on Bourquin Crescent East in Abbotsford on Tuesday afternoon.

A member of the emergency response team arrives at the scene of a standoff on Bourquin Crescent East in Abbotsford on Tuesday afternoon.

More details emerging from yesterday’s standoff in Abbotsford with a man who was firing a gun indicate a more-harrowing situation than was first reported.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said police officers, including members of the emergency response team, who first arrived on the scene had to take cover from flying bullets because the suspect was still firing shots when they arrived.

“Our members … on the scene were relying on their ballistic shields (for protection),” he said.

Police estimate that the 23-year-old man holed up in the townhouse unit on Bourquin Crescent East fired anywhere from one dozen to two dozen shots.

Many of the bullets were fired at walls and the ceiling, MacDonald said.

He said residents who were evacuated from the building into a waiting transit bus were not in serious danger, as they were escorted by police out a back entrance – away from the residence where the man was barricaded.

At points during the man’s rampage, he threw items from a balcony, including a computer and several rounds of unused ammunition, MacDonald said.

He said one of the challenges for police was not knowing exactly which room the man was occupying at any given time in the multi-level townhouse unit and where the shots could potentially be fired.

He was first reported to be barricaded in a bedroom, from where two family members in the townhouse reported hearing gunshots at about 11:30 a.m., but he could have been moving around the unit after police arrived, MacDonald said.

The man surrendered without further incident at about 1:20 p.m. MacDonald said when police entered the suite, they found four guns – a handgun, an assault-style rifle and two rifles – as well as several rounds of ammunition and magazines.

“The situation that APD officers and residents were placed in was extremely dangerous. The fact that nobody was injured by the numerous shots that were fired inside and outside the suspect’s residence is both incredible and fortunate,” MacDonald said.

Justin James Dean Korelus appeared in court today (Wednesday) and has been charged with assault with a weapon, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm dangerous to the public, intentional discharge of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm and two counts of uttering threats.

Korelus, who has no prior criminal record according to the provincial court database, has been remanded in custody for a psychiatric assessment and is next scheduled to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on July 2.