Traffic was backed up for miles outside of Westwold Tuesday as Highway 97 was closed following alleged shots fired. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Two arrested after shots fired in North Okanagan

Highway 97 re-opens after a six-hour closure due to a police incident near Falkland

A man and woman were placed in custody following a dynamic police incident that unfolded quickly Tuesday morning between Falkland and Westwold — and shut down Highway 97 for more than six hours.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were notified of a suspicious vehicle in the Falkland area just before 8 a.m.

“RCMP officers controlled access to the highway and strategically set up roadblocks in an attempt to safely stop the vehicle,” media relations officer Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy said. “The driver failed to stop for police and allegedly fired shots from the vehicle as it fled from our officers, posing a serious risk to public safety.”

With the use of a tire deflation device, officers were able to bring the vehicle to a stop east of Westwold, where two occupants were taken into custody without further incident. North Okanagan RCMP were assisted by the Southeast District Emergency Response Team (SED ERT), RCMP Police Dog Services, and a RCMP fixed wing aircraft from Kelowna Air Services.

The male suspect was reportedly in the Petro-Canada gas station store in Falkland at 9:24 a.m., according to an employee, who believed he came from Vernon. RCMP called the store at 9:26 a.m. and advised them to lockdown.

“This has never happened before and normally when the highway closes its an accident,” the employee said. She figured the highway would be closed all day.

Out of an abundance of caution, RCMP also ordered the lock down of Westwold Elementary School. That order has since been lifted.

RCMP are not aware of any serious injuries as a result of this dynamic police incident at this time.

At 2 p.m., DriveBC reported Highway 97 was partially re-opened through Westwold. Single-lane alternating traffic is able to pass through the town, around four hours after the road was closed. The highway was completely cleared by 4:09 p.m., according to DriveBC.

The investigation is in its initial stages and no further information is being released at this time.

Anyone who witnessed this incident or has video regarding it is asked to contact the North Okanagan RCMP at 250-546-3028.

READ MORE: Environment Canada issues snowfall warning for Shuswap

READ MORE: Hollywood member injured on Okanagan set of new Ron Perlman movie


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Timberwolves seek fresh lacrosse recruits

New season of the ‘fastest game on two feet’ begins this spring

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

Castlegar march ensures missing, murdered aboriginal women not forgotten

About 60 people took part in the Valentine’s day memorial

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Most Read