RCMP secure the area in the neighbourhood of Western and Pigeon Avenues following an early-morning shooting incident Monday.

RCMP secure the area in the neighbourhood of Western and Pigeon Avenues following an early-morning shooting incident Monday.

UPDATED: Lockdown lifted, one in custody following shooting

Police have one suspect in custody and have lifted a lockdown order following a shooting incident at a residence in Williams Lake.

By Angie Mindus and Monica Lamb-Yorski

Williams Lake Tribune staff writers

UPDATE

Police have one suspect in custody and have lifted a lockdown order following a shooting incident at a residence in Williams Lake early Monday morning.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Milo MacDonald said the quick actions of general duty members led to the arrest of the lone suspect and seizure of a firearm and ammunition after a home at 910 Western Avenue was hit with multiple rounds shortly after 4 a.m.

Police responded on scene where no one was injured in the shooting, however, while investigating heard another shot from an unknown direction which resulted in heightened vigilance by the officers.

As a safety precaution, all schools in the city were closed and in lockdown mode before students and staff arrived. The area of particular concern included Thompson Rivers University, Columneetza, Nesika and Cataline schools.

The residential advisory was lifted by 10 a.m. after the area was deemed safe following a search by members of the Williams Lake RCMP with the assistance of the Emergency Response Team, the police dog service and RCMP helicopter services.

TRU reopened late Monday morning while the school district kept elementary and secondary schools closed for the remainder of the day.

“The strong response of general duty members led to the quick apprehension of the suspect,” MacDonald said from outside a police barricade at the corner of Western and Pigeon Avenues Monday morning. “But in an abundance of caution we needed to rule out whether a second person was involved before we cleared the broader area.”

Prince George RCMP head Supt. Warren Brown, who is in charge of the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team called in to assist Williams Lake RCMP, credited the Williams Lake RCMP with capturing the suspect before his team arrived.

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As well as ERT, the police dog services combed the area, and an RCMP helicopter searched from above to get a visual from the air.

The home which was the target of the shooting was once frequented by suspected gang member Indi Johnny, who was killed last month in a shooting on Second Avenue in Williams Lake.

The residents in the home now are not related to any gang activity and are innocent victims in this case, said MacDonald.

When contacted Monday morning, Mayor Walt Cobb said he was angry and frustrated by the latest shooting incident.

“We are told this incident is one more of those targeted shootings and this is the home that Indi Johnny used to live in so somebody doesn’t know that he’s already gone.”

Luckily no one was hurt, he added.

“We just met on Friday with the Minister of Public Safety Mike Morris,”  Cobb said. “I was not impressed with the meeting to say the least. Basically we’ve been given promises but they are asking us to increase our police forces.”

Adding RCMP officers is not going to help anything, Cobb added.

“We’ve got to get at the root of the problem. Just hiring more RCMP is not going to stop what’s happening in our community.”

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty issued a statement on the shooting Monday morning, calling on the Liberal Government to take action.

“Like many of my neighbours, I am shocked and appalled to hear of today’s emergency situation in Williams Lake following gun shots fired in a residential neighborhood,” Doherty said. “This morning’s lockdown is just another example of the prolonged and escalating gang violence situation within our community.”

Residents should never have to be afraid to walk their dog or send their child to school, Doherty added.

“They deserve the right to know that they are safe when they leave their houses, and should be able to experience all that our beautiful community has to offer without living in fear.”

Doherty said violence of this nature in communities is unacceptable.

“Last month I met with the Minister of Public Safety to find a solution to combat gang violence associated with drug-trafficking and I expect the Liberal Government to take action on this file immediately.”

 

 

ORIGINAL STORY

RCMP are asking residents in the areas of TRU, Columneetza, Cataline and Nesika schools to stay indoors, at least for now, as they secure the neighbourhood following a shooting incident early Monday morning.

All schools in the Williams Lake area, including 150 Mile House, are also closed due to the police incident and are in lock down mode, though no staff or students are in the buildings.

Police have one suspect in custody and are searching for more who may be on the loose in the neighbourhood, according to Prince George RCMP head Supt. Warren Brown, who is in charge of the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) called in to assist Williams Lake RCMP.

“Our intention is to clear the area and make things safe and get things back to normal as soon as possible,” Brown said in an interview with The Tribune Monday morning from outside a police barricade at the corner of Western and Pigeon Avenues.

Brown said the incident occurred while it was still dark outside, just before 5 a.m.

As well as ERT, the police dog services are combing the area, and police are waiting for an RCMP helicopter to get a visual from the air.

No one was shot in he incident, however, police are investigating the matter as “a firearm incident,” Brown said.

The home suspected to be the target of the shooting was once frequented by Indi Johnny, who was killed last month in a shooting on Second Avenue.

It is believed the residents in the home are not related to any gang activity and are innocent victims.