Pellet gun sparks panic on Highway 97 in Kelowna

Early Monday morning, RCMP responded to an early morning panic alarm

Early this morning a man carrying a pellet gun sparked panic, leading Mounties to shut down a portion of Highway 97.

Vehicles travelling between Leathead Road and Highway 33 were affected at 3:43 a.m. when Kelowna RCMP received a report of commercial panic alarm from within a residential facility located in the 2600 block of Highway 97 North. Security and staff on site confirmed that one of the residents was observed in possession of what appeared to be a firearm.

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“Although the male resident was seen in possession of the firearm, no reports had been received by police that he had been using it in a threatening manner,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“Numerous of our frontline officers converged on the facility, established surveillance on the individual, controlled access to the area and strategically evacuated some of the building’s residents to awaiting buses and a nearby motel lobby.”

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In an effort to bring the unfolding situation to a successful and safe conclusion, Kelowna RCMP called for the support of the RCMP Southeast District Emergency Response Team. Tactical ERT members, a police canine and a trained negotiator responded to the scene to assist.

With public safety in mind a short distance portion of Highway 97 North was closed in both directions, as a precaution.

The 38-year-old Kelowna man was taken into police custody without any incident. He was found to be in possession of what turned out to be a pellet gun, which was seized by police.

“RCMP wish to thank all those impacted by the evacuations, and traffic detours, as front line officers worked to ensure everyone’s safety,” said O’Donaghey.

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