100 Mile RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

100 Mile RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Police investigate reports of man with gun in Lac La Hache

Incident resulted in the closure of 31 km of Highway 97 last night

Police were called to an area south of Lac La Hache Monday night following reports of a man reportedly pointing a firearm at passing vehicles on the highway.

100 Mile House RCMP along with Williams Lake RCMP were called to the site, along the east side of Highway 97 one kilometre south of the Lac La Hache Provincial Park, at 7:41 p.m. Multiple witnesses reported the man holding a shotgun and lying prone along the highway, Staff Sgt Svend Nielsen said in a release. Secondary reports indicated a man in a red hoodie was also with the man holding the gun.

Police immediately closed the highway just north of Lac La Hache at Maze Lake Road. Other officers arrived to conduct a high-risk patrol for evidence or a potential suspect. The North District RCMP Emergency Response Team was also activated to assist.

Further investigation confirmed that dashcam had captured what appeared to be a Caucasian man holding a rifle or shotgun along the edge of the highway and pointing it along the edge of the road.

Officers completed checks in and around the Provincial Park, speaking with several witnesses. One witness identified a residence as a possible location, having seen a man target shooting with what looked like a pellet gun the previous day.

Nielsen said in the release that officers located the residence and immediately saw two men matching the description of the suspects, from witnesses and dash camera evidence.

The man from the dashcam image was initially arrested, Nielsen said. “Further investigation with the cooperative property owners and tenants confirmed a pellet gun had been in use the last two days on their property in an attempt to rid the front yard of small rodents infesting the front yard and destroying waters and sewage lines,” Nielsen said.

Police released the man from custody and the highway reopened.

More discussion with the property owner and tenants was completed along with contact with other local agencies, including BC Conservation Service.

“100 Mile House RCMP would like to remind the public that awareness of your surroundings is a major consideration when taking any conservation action where some type of weapon, firearm or even a pellet rifle, especially when adjacent to a major thoroughfare,” Nielsen said.

The investigation has been concluded.


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