One suspect is in custody and another remains on the loose after an incident which began at about 9 a.m. Tuesday on the American side of the border near Abbotsford.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the APD received a call before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from U.S. authorities, asking for assistance in the search.
Michael Milne, a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said U.S. border agents from the Sumas station came across two suspicious men at about 9:10 a.m. in an area of the Columbia Valley, about seven miles east of the town of Sumas.
He said they were wearing camouflage gear and were carrying backpacks. One of the men fired a gun as the officers approached. He then fled into the woods, while the other was immediately arrested.
Milne could not say whether the apprehended suspect was carrying drugs or weapons.
“That is traditionally an area of bi-directional smuggling,” he said of the Columbia Valley.
Authorities on this side of the border were notified because there was a possibility the suspect would cross into Canada along Vedder Mountain.
Police cordoned off an area of Sumas Prairie and the northern slopes of Vedder Mountain, between Marion Road and the Vye Road power station, and along Old Yale Road.
U.S. Black Hawk police helicopters and the Canadian Air 1 police helicopter responded to the incident, along with Canada Border Service officers, and police are watching the forested hillsides in case the suspect moves north.
Police blocked off numerous roads in the surrounding area on Sumas Prairie, and the Abbotsford emergency response team was on the scene with its armoured vehicle.
Police removed the roadblocks at about 3 p.m. and began going door to door to inform residents of the situation.
On the American side of the border, the Whatcom County Sheriffs Office is assisting border patrol officers in the search, including sending out a special response team.
American media report that one suspect was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol members near Reese Hill and Heady roads, which is south of the Sumas Prairie area.
Upper Sumas Elementary school went into lockdown shortly after 10 a.m. as police closed off the Arnold area, a few kilometres from the school. The lockdown was lifted at about 12:20 p.m.
Keep checking abbynews.com for updates.
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