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Stand-off at Gitsegukla ends peacefully

A 26-year-old man is in custody following a stand-off at the Gitsegukla First Nation Reserve near Hazelton, which prompted a large police presence on Saturday.

Police were called at about 3:40 a.m. on June 27 to a report of an assault involving a man who was determined to be breaching court-imposed conditions for similar offences.

Upon arrival, officers encountered a distraught man who had barricaded himself in the residence and claimed to be in possession of a rifle. A witness also advised there was a woman inside.

Police attempted to de-escalate the situation for several hours with support from a crisis negotiator and a critical incident commander. As a precaution, a dead end road was temporarily blocked off and officers evacuated several neighbouring residents.

At approximately 2:15 p.m., the man and the woman exited the residence and the man safely taken into custody without further incident by the Emergency Response Team. No one was injured during the incident. The man is medically held for further assessment.

After a subsequent search of the residence, police officers did not locate any firearms. The investigation is ongoing and the man is facing potential charges.

“We wish to thank all those in the community who were impacted for their patience, understanding and cooperation during the day,” said S/Sgt. Darren Durnin, detachment commander of the New Hazelton RCMP. “We also wish to extend our thanks for the support and assistance provided by the elected leadership and the volunteer fire department.”

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