Alerts lifted, no gun found, 1 man arrested, many questions about OPP manhunt
Ontario Provincial Police have one man in custody and say the search for two other men, described in an emergency alert as armed and dangerous, has ended.
The alert early Friday afternoon said OPP officers in Lanark County were investigating two armed suspects believed to be at large in the Sharbot Lake and Lanark County areas east of Ottawa.
People in the Sharbot Lake community and Lanark County have been urged to take shelter at the spot, lock all doors and windows, and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
The OPP previously sent out a similar warning via social media to residents of Beckwith, a community in Lanark County, 53 kilometers southwest of Ottawa.
The photos and descriptions of the two men, along with their names, were later shared by the OPP on social media.
By late afternoon, however, the situation had changed.
Another man arrested and charged
The OPP said by email that the search for the two men had ended and no weapon had been found after an extensive search.
The media were asked to stop using the men’s photos after all warnings, which police said were issued “out of caution and concern for public safety”, were lifted.
Lanark County and Sharbot Lake
Meanwhile, the OPP said they arrested another man and charged him with a range of offenses including:
Dangerous operation of a vehicle
Escape from a peace officer.
Operating a vehicle while prohibited and
Possession of stolen property acquired through crime.
The incident began with an allegedly stolen vehicle
According to the OPP, the incident began when someone reported that two people were armed with a pistol near an arena in Beckwith, a community in Lanark County, 53 kilometers southwest of Ottawa.
OPP officers followed a fleeing stolen vehicle that was stopped in the Smiths Falls area, 15 miles to the south.
The third person was arrested there.
Details of 2 other men unclear
How or if the other two men were involved in the incident remains unclear.
The OPP did not answer CBC questions about the men’s possible involvement, whether they were located by police, why the information about the men was posted online, and whether they may face charges.
“All other information sent today was based on the ongoing investigation,” an OPP spokesman said via email.
“Large” police presence
Beckwith Community Leader Richard Kidd said police used drones and a helicopter to search the park near the Beckwith Recreation Center while dog units searched the building.
“We’re not used to such a large police presence,” Kidd said. “It was comforting how quickly they could arrive and get their work done.”
Kidd added that the church office door is locked for staff safety.
CLOCK | Reeve says the police presence is unusual but reassuring
Sharbot Lake, one of the two areas named in the emergency alert, falls within Central Frontenac County.
Mayor Frances Smith told CBC by phone that she had locked herself and her two grandsons in her home and that the municipality had closed her office.
Scott Robinson, a resident of Carleton Place, three miles north of Beckwith, was among those who received the 911 call.
In general, such warnings would not affect his life, he said, but his son was at home at the time.
“He locked the house,” he said. “He might have been a little scared. But nothing exaggerated.”
CLOCK | residents on alert