On Thursday, November 25, 2021, a suspect fired multiple rounds at the Vanderhoof RCMP Detachment and police vehicles parked at the detachment before being arrested a short time later.
“Yesterday was nothing less than the most horrendous occurrence that can happen for police officers, our support staff, and our community,” said Chief Superintendent Warren Brown, BC RCMP North District. “For reasons that may become clearer in the following days through the ongoing investigation, an individual opened fire on our police detachment where well over a dozen employees were working. I am told that bullets from a rifle smashed through exterior windows striking walls, equipment, and flying past work stations where police officers and office staff sat. Terrible accounts where our employees were deafened by gun fire, could smell burning gun powder, and threw themselves on the ground to avoid being shot. An incident like this is really something that happens rarely and regardless of how well we are trained, with the serious level of threat and fluid mayhem, it is remarkable to believe no one was hurt and the suspect was arrested safely. Really the best possible outcome.”
It is believed that this was a targeted attack on the RCMP and police do not believe there to be any threat to the community. The suspect remains in custody.
“I do want to acknowledge the overwhelming support we have received from the community of Vanderhoof,” said Brown. “I met with the mayor and CAO yesterday shortly after the incident and they expressed their sincere concern, appreciation, and well-being for our members and employees. As this incident was unfolding, citizens of Vanderhoof provided real time up to date witness accounts through 911. This included suspect and vehicle descriptions, locations and other observations that were integral pieces of information that led to the capture of the suspect. It was the first ever Police Emergency Alert in the province of B.C. that was broadcast. This is new to us all and the support and cooperation from the community at large was overwhelming. I can assure the communities that the Vanderhoof RCMP polices is in safe hands. Other nearby detachments including Fraser Lake, Fort St James, Prince George, BC Highway Patrol, and other North District support sections will be working in Vanderhoof to provide a service of excellence until our resilient staff at the detachment can get back on their feet.”
While tje Vanderhoof detachment remains closed to the public as a forensic examination is conducted. There will be no disruption to the calls for service.
The BC RCMP North District General Investigation Section is now leading the investigation and is seeking the public’s assistance. Investigators are aware that there are numerous videos of the incident and are asking anyone with dash cam or cell phone video of the shooting, or the events following it, to share it with police.
If you have any information, or are able to share video, please contact the Vanderhoof RCMP at (250) 567-2222.