Spectators evacuate the grandstand after a shooting incident occurred in the trade fair area, behind the grandstand, at the Williams Lake Stampede Sunday, July 3. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Spectators evacuate the grandstand after a shooting incident occurred in the trade fair area, behind the grandstand, at the Williams Lake Stampede Sunday, July 3. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

VIDEO: ‘It was unreal’: Williams Lake Stampede rodeo announcer on July 3 shooting, evacuation

Tyson Pietsch credits Williams Lake Stampede Association implementing emergency evacuation plan

A “well-oiled machine.”

That is how rodeo announcer Tyson Pietsch described the Williams Lake Stampede Association (WLSA) handling of the evacuation at the Stampede Sunday, July 3 after two people were shot behind the grandstand in the trade fair area.

“The Williams Lake Stampede Association board of directors and volunteers had a plan in place,” he told the Tribune Monday morning at the Stampede Grounds parking lot.

READ MORE: Two people shot behind grandstands during Williams Lake Stampede, 1 man arrested

READ MORE: BREAKING: 2 people shot at Williams Lake Stampede expected to survive injuries

Pietsch praised WLSA volunteer Deanne Thomas for arriving quickly to hand him the evacuation procedure and instructing him to read out a prepared statement.

“They were not my words, they were what was handed to me. Dee Thomas, she’s the one that should get lots of credit for how that evacuation happened yesterday.”

During the evacuation, Pietsch’s voice instilled calm as more than 4,000 people were instructed to evacuate from the grandstand just before the final bull ride of the day.

As he spoke through the microphone, he encouraged everyone to remain calm and not to run. He read out directions on how to exit and encouraged everyone to look out for others who may have needed assistance.

It was his first time guiding an emergency evacuation due to a shooting. He had done it in the past for extreme weather events such as a tornado in Benalto, Alta. during a rodeo about 15 years ago.

In that incident the crowd had to go to a curling rink basement or they went home.

“This was unreal yesterday,” he said in comparison. “At first I thought it was a prank. I thought it was a kid with a cap gun, whatever. I thought the emergency plan worked really well and I hope they never have to use it again.”

A suspect was apprehended and arrested in the parking lot by RCMP within minutes of the shooting.

On Monday, July 4, the B.C. Prosecution Service confirmed Jordell Sellars, 33, faces charges of attempted murder and discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life. He remains in custody.

READ MORE: Jordell Sellars, 33, charged in Williams Lake Stampede shooting that left 2 injured



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