RCMP converged on Neepawa Thursday afternoon chasing a shooting suspect. He was taken into custody after a standoff.
At a Thursday press conference, RCMP said the 42-year-old male officer was last listed in stable, but serious condition in hospital and was awaiting further medical treatment. Mounties say he was shot upon exiting his vehicle around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“The RCMP is truly a large family and what has unfolded over the last few hours truly affects every officer employed from coast to coast. I know it touches many Canadians as well,” said Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP.
RCMP say the officers at the scene of the initial confrontation did not fire their weapons.
Kolody did not name the injured officer but said he is an RCMP corporal and noted his family was “deeply shaken” by the incident.
Mounties told residents of the area to remain vigilant and stay inside with doors locked, since officers were then searching for a fourth suspect. Officers had previously taken three suspects, all men, into custody.
RCMP said the suspects were at one point travelling in a black 2005 GMC Sierra pickup truck with Manitoba license plate GBX 476.
RCMP say the break-in and shooting occurred at a property just outside Onanole, which is located about 260 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg near Riding Mountain National Park.
Lloyd Ewashko, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Harrison Park —which includes Onanole — said dozens of officers were in the area after the shooting.
“It was quite intense,” Ewashko said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“I would imagine in and around 35, 40. Some were out in the field manning roadblocks; some were here in our office.”
Craig Atkinson, a municipal councillor, said he understood the three arrests were made along or near a provincial highway.
“I believe (the suspects) were seen or reported to be breaking into people’s houses.”
“We’re not used to that type of activity in our community and it’s frightening for sure,” Ewashko said.
This marks the first time a Manitoba RCMP officer has been shot on duty in three years. The last case occurred in Kemnay, Man. during the May long weekend of 2015, when Sgt. Mark Hume was shot while responding to a domestic incident.
— with files from Scott Billeck and the Canadian Press
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Three suspects in custody, fourth on the run after shots fired, RCMP officer seriously injured