Man arrested after shots fired in Railtown apartment, Vancouver police say
A man who triggered a lockdown at an apartment building in Vancouver’s Railtown neighbourhood by firing shots inside a suite Sunday night has been arrested is facing firearms charges, according to police.
The Vancouver Police Department says more than three dozen officers, including the emergency response team and crisis negotiators, responded to reports of shots being fired inside a building near Main and Alexander streets just after 7 p.m.
“A man in his fifties began firing rounds,” the VPD said in a statement Monday morning. “A person who was with the man when he began firing quickly fled and called 911, reporting that the shooter had been acting strangely for several days.”
Authorities say the building was partially evacuated while officers communicated with the suspect. About 90 minutes after the first shot was fired, police say a man exited the apartment armed with a loaded gun and a knife.
“Less lethal ARWEN rounds were deployed so officers could safely arrest the suspect, who was not seriously injured,” the statement from police continues.
ARWEN is an acronym for anti-riot weapon Enfield and can involve launching foam, wooden or chemical bullets.
The man has not been identified and details of the criminal charges he is facing were not provided.
Residents of the building took to social media to swap stories and piece together the details of what happened.
In response to a question on an online forum about the evacuation of Ask For Luigi, a restaurant at the intersection of Alexander and Gore streets, people who live in “The Edge” residential building across the street chimed in to help piece together what happened.
“Here is my personal account: I was sitting on the couch and a SWAT guy just bursts into my apartment, doesn’t even knock or anything,” wrote Reddit user F102t2o around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. “He goes ‘I don’t care what you have in here I need to look out your window.”
Another resident says they came home to the building with their girlfriend to find it was locked down and went to a nearby bar for a drink before returning and speaking with a Vancouver police officer.
“He told us a man on the second floor started shooting his gun off the balcony towards CRAB Park. He thought someone was trying to attack him. They had a stand-off and shot the man in the leg and took him to the hospital,” the resident wrote.
“It was unfortunately a mental health situation that went very wrong,” said a different resident, Reddit user fancy 7474. “I do not believe his intent was to cause harm to anyone and especially not anyone living in the building.”
The Edge is a 10-storey building with 165 units. Recent online rental listings suggest a one-bedroom goes for nearly $2,500 per month.
CTV News has reached out to the Reddit users, Ask for Luigi for comment. This story will be updated if a response is received.