A 20 hour standoff ended peacefully today. Members of the police tactical squad gained access to a home on Guelph Road at the corner of Blossom around 8:00 am and fired rubber bullets incapacitating the 72 year old man. Media reports that the man was heavily armed with over 100 registered weapons. It was unclear how many of those weapons were in the home.
The suspect allegedly shot at a police officer, bruising his foot at the beginning of this incident. The officer was treated on scene and remained on duty throughout the ordeal.
“He’ll be okay,” said Montreal police media relations officers, Anie Lemieux.
The officer was hit in the foot and his wounds are not considered serious.
“The incident started about 11:40 Tuesday morning, when a man threatened workers on a truck with his a firearm,” said Lemieux.
The workers were apparently Hydro crews that arrived to install the new smart meters in the neighbourhood.
A man claiming to be the suspect’s son called CJAD 800 Radio on Tuesday to say his father was suffering from dementia.
Police cordoned off a wide area around the home in the western end of Cote Saint-Luc abutting on the Meadowbrook Golf Course.
A specialized tactical SWAT vehicle was brought in by the SQ provincial police.
“Right now we’re trying to find a way to communicate with this man and make sure that everything goes well. We want everything to go well,” said Lemieux.
“We’re here for everyone’s safety – the man in his 70s’ safety, police officers outside on the perimeter and also people in the neighbourhood. The perimeter was enlarged. We’re asking people in the neighbourhood to respect a perimeter like this, and respect police officers’ orders to stay inside their homes.”
Paul Horowitz, manager of the Cote-Saint-Luc Tennis Club, said police asked them to leave the area.
“After 12 o’clock we were told by police to vacate the premises, and most left other than the manager and the assistant manager,” he said. “We were told to vacate. We’ve heard at the moment the area’s blocked off heard the area’s blocked off, because there’s a situation and we’re waiting until the situation is over.”
After several attempts to communicate with the man and flush him out of his house with irritant gases, a police SWAT unit saw a “window of opportunity” in the morning and struck the man with two rubber bullets.
Police used a robot vehicle that went inside to check that the man no longer held his firearm before tactical officers moved in and arrested the suspect, said a spokesman, Constable Daniel Lacoursière.
“The suspect had several firearms registered to his name at that address,” Constable Lacoursière said.
The man was taken to hospital for a medical assessment.
Several neighbours said the man was known for acting in a way that suggested he had dementia.
The man rarely left his property and was aggressive, for example towards dogs on his lawn, said neighbour Yael Dayan.
However, she added that she never felt threatened by the man.
“He never tried to hurt anyone,” she said. “His wife is very, very sweet and she’s very conscious that he’s ill.”
As night fell city crews arrived to turn out the street lights in the area to give police total control of the scene. At one point, police snipers shot out two remaining street lights.
At least 10 families were unable to return to their homes, Cote Saint-Luc officials opened an emergency evacuation centre at the Community and Aquatic Centre. The centre was quickly readied for families to sleep over and was staffed by Councillor Ruth Kovac and members of the volunteer Citizens on Patrol.
In the end, only one couple sought shelter there.
As police crews cleared the scene early Wednesday morning, CSL Public Works crews showed up to begin cleaning debris and picking up the garbage and recycling that was left in the neighbourhood from the day before.
(Sources: Globe and Mail, Global TV, CTV News, TVA Nouvelles, Montreal Gazette as well as residents)
Montreal Gazette July 30
La Presse July 30
TVA Nouvelles 4:00pm July 30
CTV News 6:00pm July 30
Global News 6:00pm July 30
CTV News 11:00pm July 30
SWAT team raids Montreal home, ends 20-hour armed standoff (CTV News) 11:00am July 31
Gallery: Armed standoff in Montreal comes to an end (Global News)
Neighbours in Côte-St-Luc shaken by police standoff (Montreal Gazette, Aug. 1)
Havis had earlier brush with the law, 2008 records show (Montreal Gazette, Aug. 1)
Police discover 180 guns (Montreal Gazette, Aug. 1)
Rubber bullet ends 20-hour standoff at Montreal-area home (Globe and Mail, Aug. 1)