A heavy police presence descended on a Lumby mobile home park Monday morning after a man forced his way into a home and threatened a person with a weapon.
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to a home in the 2600 block of Shuswap Avenue around 8:15 a.m. on Oct. 26, and established a perimeter around the residence to ensure the safety of the public.
Neighbouring residents were evacuated and nearby school J.W. Inglis Elementary was instructed to put a “hold and secure” into effect, locking the doors and keeping students inside.
The threatened individual was able to escape the home uninjured, leaving the 67-year-old man alone in the house.
RCMP Southeast District Emergency Response Team, police dog services and specially trained crisis negotiators were brought in to help.
“Despite numerous attempts to de-escalate the situation, the man inside refused to engage with the police officers on scene,” media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said.
“This resulted in the RCMP using highly trained tactical officers to intervene and the suspect was safely taken into custody.”
J.W. Inglis principal Mary Takasaka notified parents that the school had been contacted by police and were in close contact as the situation unfolded. The police standoff concluded safely before noon and the elementary school was able to send its students outside for lunch recess, Takasaka informed parents.
Parents praised the school’s handling of the situation on social media.
“I want to thank all the staff for how they dealt with today’s incident,” a student’s mother wrote in a Facebook comment. She noted she was worried about her son’s mental state after a stressful situation.
“I didn’t know if he would be confused or scared or what,” she wrote. “He came home completely fine. He never mentioned any problems or difference in his school day. Thank you all so much. No matter how frightening it must have been, you all remained calm and professional while keeping our tiny humans safe.”
The suspect faces a number of potential criminal charges connected to the incident and he remains in police custody ahead of his first court appearance.
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP offered thanks to all those directly affected by the incident for their patience, understanding and full cooperation.