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Police arrest man following report of gunfire near Kitwanga

Spike belt used to stop vehicle on Hwy16

RCMP officers used a spike belt to flatten the tires of a vehicle driven by a man suspected of firing a weapon at a rest stop near Kitwanga in a situation which unfolded over several hours along Hwy16 Feb. 6.

Officers from Terrace began looking for a pickup after receiving a report its driver pulled into the rest stop, spun the vehicle in circles and stopped after flashing its high beams.

“The driver got out of the truck, approached a commercial vehicle parked in the rest stop and tried to open the door but was unsuccessful. The suspect went back to the pickup truck, got a firearm and shot the gun several times into the bushes surrounding the rest stop,” a RCMP statement indicated.

“The suspect then got back in his truck and fled the area. The occupant of the semi was not injured.”

Officers from the Smithers RCMP detachment later located the suspect vehicle in the area of Kleanza Creek approximately 20 kilometres from Terrace but its driver tried to ram a police vehicle, narrowly missing two officers, before speeding toward Terrace.

That’s when officers used what police call a “tire deflation device” to stop the vehicle and successfully arrest a 30-year-old man.

Corporal Madonna Saunderson, who speaks for the RCMP in northern B.C., said a police officer had the suspect vehicle in sight as it sped down the highway to where another officer was waiting with the spoke belt.

“Often times roadways are closed for the safety of everyone, but in this particular incident it was not closed,” she said.

“Our members are trained in the safe deployment of the device and the guidance set out in policy. We must consider the location on the roadway and the surrounding area so the device can be deployed in a safe manner and location.”

Police say numerous charges could be laid as the investigation continues.

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