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Man arrested after standoff
Dramatic nine-hours marked by closed off streets, heavy police presence

Cody Punter
Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 19, 2014

A tense standoff that led police to close off a one-block stretch of 50 Street yesterday came to an end shortly after 1:10 p.m. when a half dozen heavily armed RCMP officers kicked down a door and stormed a room at the Northern Lites Motel where a man had barricaded himself earlier that morning.

NNSL photo/graphic

Police take a man into custody outside the Northern Lites Motel where a suspect had barricaded himself earlier that morning. A lengthy standoff between the man and RCMP came to an end shortly after 1:10 p.m. on Thursday afternoon when half a dozen heavily armed officers stormed the room and apprehended the suspect. - Walter Strong/NNSL photo

Yellowknifer watched as several officers tackled a man and wrestled him to the ground as he exited the room. RCMP Const. Elenore Sturko confirmed one man was arrested in the standoff, which lasted nine hours.

There were no injuries, according to RCMP.

Prior to the arrest, a one-block stretch of 50 Street between 51 and 52 Avenue was blocked off by a half dozen marked and unmarked RCMP vehicles. Heavily armed officers with assault rifles and shotguns and clad in tactical gear monitored the apparent threat from just outside a motel room door on the bottom floor at the east side of the building.

At several points during the morning, groups of between two and five RCMP officers approached either side of the room before retreating. At approximately 11:10 a.m. a robotic all-terrain vehicle was deployed at the scene and was parked right outside the door, occasionally going back and forth to an open window to the room. A police negotiator could be heard speaking with an occupant of the motel just before 11 a.m.

Moments before the take down occurred two bright flashes of light could be seen emanating from the window. Sturko was unable to confirm what caused the flashes of light to appear.

RCMP received a call from a male indicating there was a "hostage situation" at the motel at 4:16 a.m. Thursday, said Sturko, who couldn't confirm whether or not there were hostages involved.

Two people were seen talking outside the motel just before 6 a.m., before entering the room where the man was barricaded. An RCMP vehicle responded to the scene and parked across the street at 6:05 a.m. At 6:16 a.m., a man was seen leaving the room and approaching the RCMP vehicle. The officer talked to the man, and was then seen grabbing a shotgun from his truck.

Moments later, another person can be seen leaving the room. The second person walked over to the RCMP vehicle with three other people who appeared to have come from a unit on the top floor of the motel.

After the RCMP officer appears to talk with all five people for a few minutes, they walk down 50 Street toward 51 Avenue. Moments later, more marked and unmarked RCMP vehicles started to arrive at the scene.

Now that an arrest has been made, Yellowknife RCMP's general investigation unit has taken over the investigation and will determine what, if any, charges will be laid, said Sturko.

She said she unable to provide more details as of press time.

with files from Evan Kiyoshi French

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