Imitation firearm causes RCMP response in Kelowna

An early morning panic alarm activated inside a residential facility, located along Highway 97 North, prompted the call out of the RCMP Emergency Response Team and triggered a short distance detour of highway traffic travelling between Leathead Road and Highway 33.

The incident began about 3:45 AM 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.

“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,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Numerous of our front line 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.”

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.