Order made to determine if man not criminally responsible for standoff

More than 20 shots fired during June incident

The young man who discharged more than 20 gunshots during a four-hour-long standoff in June will undergo a court-ordered assessment to determine if he is not criminally responsible because of a mental illness.

Justin Korelus, 23, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including 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 has admitted to the circumstances at the core of the case. On June 3 he holed up in a bedroom in his mother’s Bourquin Crescent East townhouse with several firearms, including a restricted handgun, a shotgun and a rifle.

When police arrived, he threatened to kill anyone who entered his room.

Later, he fired at least 20 rounds with the rifle, through the walls of the room and out the window of the townhouse. No one was injured, but three other townhouses in the complex were struck by gunfire, and bullets were found in a living room, a bathroom and a child’s bedroom closet.

Korelus eventually surrendered and was arrested.

He has been held in the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital since.

While the acts have been admitted, the court is now trying to determine whether Korelus is criminally responsible, or whether a mental illness prompted his actions that day.

In asking for the order on Friday in Abbotsford provincial court, Crown counsel Ross McLeod said Korelus spoke to himself, made nonsensical remarks and showed signs of illness before, during and after the stand-off.

He also cited a report by Christopher Robertson, a psychologist at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, which said: “Mr. Korelus presents with symptoms consistent with an unspecified psychotic disorder.”

“There is substantial evidence that the accused’s mental health is seriously an issue and in doubt at the time of the offence, leading up to the offence and following the offence,” Judge W.G. MacDonald said in agreeing to make the order.

The report will be conducted over the next months and the parties will return to court on Dec. 18.