Following an hours-long standoff Thursday (March 25) north of Courtenay, a 55-year-old man was taken into RCMP custody after police warned the public to stay away from the area.
Around 1 p.m., Comox Valley RCMP asked the public to avoid the area of Graham, Cornwall and Pickering roads due to an ongoing police incident at a residence in the area. Police noted the incident was confined to a residence and the public was not considered to be at risk.
Reports indicate police were called to the home following a visit by an SPCA investigator that quickly turned confrontational. RCMP said a gunshot was fired and aimed at the SPCA officer.
Frontline members, street crimes members, Major Crime Unit members, and traffic section members all rushed to the scene to find the man who allegedly fired the rifle back inside his residence and the SPCA officer uninjured, said Const. Monika Terragni of the Comox Valley RCMP in a release.
“The RCMP Emergency Response Team, including crisis negotiators, worked with the occupants for several hours to come outside before making entry into the residence. We had officers in the area attending nearby residences to advise them of the situation and ensure their ongoing safety, while at the same time, advising members of the public to avoid the area. Everybody was co-operative and supportive.”
Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA confirmed the incident involving their officer and a scheduled visit to check on the welfare of some animals.
“The officer was physically unharmed, but obviously very shaken up,” she added.
Around 8 p.m., RCMP successfully arrested the man without incident, who is expected to face several charges.