Nanaimo RCMP had weapons drawn around Rosehill Street and Millstone Avenue on Sunday afternoon and made an arrest.
The incident unfolded at about 1:30 p.m., according to police, when officers responded to an apartment building in the 600 block of Rosehill Street for a report of a man in possession of a firearm and threatening individuals in one of the units.
“It was a high-risk police incident, it was involving a weapon, it was resolved without incident,” said Sgt. Sarah Mattes of the Nanaimo RCMP.
She said a male suspect was arrested and there were no injuries in the incident. She confirmed that people were being asked to stay clear of the area during the situation.
“Due to the possibility of a weapon, or the information that we had received about a weapon, we asked them to remain away from the scene,” Mattes said.
Because firearms might be present and “the potential for hostages,” the Vancouver Island RCMP Emergency Response Team was called in and, as a precaution, several nearby apartment units were evacuated too.
Shortly after the ERT arrived, two adult males walked out of the apartment. While the door to the unit was open, ERT made contact with the 29-year-old man and took him into custody without incident.
Police found and seized a black Airsoft pistol in the apartment.
Two children, ages 7 and 3, were found unharmed. Investigators will follow up with the Ministry of Children and Family Development regarding the children.
The suspect was taken to Nanaimo RCMP detachment where he was later released on a promise to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Feb. 5 to face charges of uttering threats and pointing a firearm.
“Prior to ERT arriving, numerous officers were already on scene and actively taking up positions where they could safely contain the suspect. While doing so, it was made known that pictures of various officers had been taken and posted to social media sites,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “This is extremely dangerous as it not only exposes the locations of our officers, but this information can easily be obtained by the suspect. Please respect the fact that these situations are volatile and highly unpredictable. By posting pictures, you are simply adding another layer of risk to an already dangerous incident.”