Vanderhoof RCMP help diffuse suicidal standoff

A coordinated response by Vanderhoof and Prince George RCMP resulted in the safe apprehension of an armed, suicidal male earlier this month.

A coordinated response by Vanderhoof and Prince George RCMP resulted in the safe apprehension of an armed, suicidal male earlier this month.

On Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, a distraught male wrote a suicide note that was later discovered in his Vanderhoof-area residence by a family member, who notified RCMP.

An ensuing investigation led several Vanderhoof RCMP members to the Norman Lake Gravel Pit, located within the Prince George RCMP policing jurisdiction, where the male was found in possession of a 12-gauge shotgun.

“This was an extremely high risk situation for RCMP, and the male as well,” said Sergeant Jason Keays, commander of the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment, on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Given the volatility of the situation, officers called in a Police Dog Services unit from Prince George in case the male attempted to flee.

An Emergency Response Team, a highly trained unit of weapons and tactical experts, and a Critical Incident Team, which specializes in negotiating with emotionally disturbed individuals in crisis situations, were also deployed to the scene, explained Corporal Craig Douglass, spokesperson for the Prince George Municipal RCMP.

After a long standoff, the male handed over his weapon and was apprehended by RCMP members under the Mental Health Act.

“There was no threat to the public at that time, it was precautionary and it ended successfully,” said Douglass.

The male, whose identity remains undisclosed for privacy reasons, was transported to the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George for treatment.

A Vanderhoof RCMP corporal who was involved in the joint response said the situation took nearly 24 hours to resolve.

“Around this time of year, there seems to be a lot more depression, suicide attempts,” said Keays.

“The Vanderhoof RCMP appreciates that the male surrendered peacefully and there was no need for the situation to end badly.”