The incident took place at 1800 Highway 20: the Gnome’s Home Campsite (Photo by Michael Wigle)

Explosives, firearms recovered from weekend standoff in Hagensborg

A high stakes standoff ended peacefully last Friday when single male was arrested without incident

A high stakes standoff ended peacefully last Friday evening when a single male was arrested without incident following hours of communication with local RCMP and crisis negotiators at 1800 Highway 20 (Gnome’s Home Campsite) in Hagensborg.

The man, whose name is not being released, is facing several firearms and explosive related charges. He has been transported out of the community and is now receiving medical treatment in a lower mainland hospital.

The incident began at approximately 3pm on Friday, June 8, when the Bella Coola RCMP received a note written by the man that was delivered by a concerned resident. The note expressed that the suspect was feeling depressed and had the potential to cause harm to himself and others.

All personnel from the Bella Coola Detachment were recalled for duty and responded to the incident. They were assisted by the local Conservation Officer and RMCP officers from Anahim Lake and Alexis Creek. Once there was enough manpower on site, the RCMP contained the area and closed the highway.

“We can confirm that there were multiple IED’s (improvised explosive devices) and loaded firearms at the site of 1800 Highway 20,” said Sgt. Rick Skolrood of the Bella Coola RCMP. “This individual was certainly a danger to the public.”

Once on site, Skolrood made contact with the man who indicated he wanted to speak with someone who was not part of local authorities. A conversation then began between him and RCMP crisis negotiators based in Prince George.

This lasted several hours during which time the man requested food (specifically, a meat lovers pizza made by the Valley Restaurant) be delivered to him as part of his agreement to leave his residence unarmed.

“We delivered the pizza to the male and he agreed to leave his residence peacefully,” said Skolrood. “These IED’s had the potential to cause serious damage had they been detonated, so this was exactly the outcome we were striving for.”

Skolrood said that whole incident last approximately five and half hours from the time his detachment was notified to the man’s arrest. The RCMP’s Explosive Disposal Unit disarmed all of the IED’s the following day without any trouble. Skolrood said the RCMP are in the process of determining if the male had a license for the firearms.

Although this type of incident is highly unusual for the Valley it demonstrates that even the quietest communities can face these situations, and that the training RCMP officers receive can be called into action anywhere.

“We hope for the best but train for the worst,” said Skolrood. “The officers performed admirably and thanks to their training, knowledge, ability and compassion this incident was resolved peacefully.”

Being an isolated community means most resources, including back-up for the RCMP, aren’t always right at your fingertips. Public patience and cooperation is essential during these times.

“The RCMP want to thank the good citizens of Hagensborg and Bella Coola for their patience and understanding. Public safety is our top priority, and public cooperation during these incidents is extremely valuable; especially when there are limited police resources in the Valley,” said Skolrood.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Shag Creek area under evacuation order, area expanded

93 properties are being told to evacuate immediately

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Northern B.C. residents face more evacuation orders as some smoke clears up

Regional District of BulkleyNechako issued new, expanded evacuation orders for remote areas Saturday

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Most Read