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

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Safeguards amplified for Kootenay Boundary first responders

” … We have initiated stringent PPE requirements to protect responders from exposures … “

Trail medical lab makes changes amid pandemic

Rossland and Salmo clinics are not seeing immunocompromised or suspect/symptomatic patients.

Selkirk College gives back during COVID-19 crisis

Staff have been delivering grocery items and medical supplies to those in need during pandemic

Cominco, West Kootenay Power, perpetuated in place names

Place Names: Consolidated Mining and Smelting (CM&S) became Cominco, then Teck-Cominco, then Teck

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read