Firearms complaint prompts closure of Trans-Canada Highway
A report of an individual pointing a firearm at a passing vehicle travelling along Highway 1, amongst a rural heavily forested area between Sicamous and Salmon Arm, prompted police to shut down the highway and call out the Emergency Response Team.
On July 13, 2020 at 2:50 p.m., a motorist called 911 to report seeing a man pointing what she believed to be a rifle at her vehicle as she drove east along the Trans-Canada Highway near Bernie Road.
RCMP resources from both the Sicamous and Salmon Arm detachments responded to the area. Front line officers from both jurisdictions quickly coordinated the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway in both directions in order to prevent the public from accessing the area, while the search commenced for the male suspect.
The RCMP Southeast District Emergency Response Team happened to be training in the Shuswap area and responded to the scene to assist the front line officers with their search for the suspect.
"A man matching the suspect’s physical description was located within the containment area and arrested without incident," states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the RCMP Southeast District. "The man, who police determined had been hitch hiking, was not in possession of any firearms upon his arrest. However, further investigation revealed that he had been holding up a metal pipe, which officers believe could have been easily mistaken by a passing motorist as resembling the barrel of a firearm."
A section of the Trans-Canada Highway was closed in both directions for approximately 40 minutes while police conducted their search for the male.
"RCMP wish to thank all those, who were impacted by the emergency highway closure, for their patience and understanding as our officers worked to ensure their personal safety and well-being," adds Cpl. O’Donaghey.