UPDATE, 4:04 p.m. from Cpl. Jodie Shelkie:
This afternoon at 2:45 p.m. the man who had barricaded himself inside of the Denny’s restaurant was arrested by the Southeast District Emergency Response Team.
The standoff started at 4 a.m. when the suspect made a threat while in the restaurant. Staff and customers quickly evacuated, leaving the male alone. Kamloops RCMP cordoned off nearby streets and secured residences in the area.
Many attempts throughout the day to communicate with the suspect were made by a police negotiator, to no avail. The suspect had closed the blinds to all of the windows and only exited the building once. He was brandishing a knife and when he saw police officers, he went back inside of the restaurant.
At 2:45 p.m., members of ERT entered the restaurant and arrested the man. He was taken into custody by General Duty officers and transported to cells.
The 29-year-old man was previously known to police and is from Kamloops.
All investigation information will be forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service who will determine what charges are appropriate.
The area around Denny’s will be closed to motorists and pedestrians for a length of time for officers to secure the building and make sure it is safe.
UPDATE, 2:45 p.m.: The man who barricaded himself inside Denny’s Restaurant on Columbia Street today (Aug. 2, 2018) was arrested at 2:45 p.m. Cpl. Jodie Shelkie said streets around the restaurant would remain closed until the restaurant was secured.
UPDATE: A dispute over a bill led to today’s police incident at Denny’s Restaurant on Columbia Street, say RCMP.
Cpl. Jodie Sheklie provided an update to the situation at 7:30 a.m. today (Aug. 2, 2018), saying a customer made a threat after receiving his bill. Staff and other customers evacuated the building, leaving the man alone inside.
When police arrived, the man inside closed all of the blinds to the restaurant, Shelkie said.
“At one point the male did exit one of the restaurant doors, he was brandishing a knife. When confronted with officers, the suspect went back into the restaurant.”
As a precautionary measure, the natural gas has been shut off to the restaurant.
RCMP surrounded the restaurant and were attempting to establish contact with the suspect inside.
All residents in the area are being asked to stay inside unless they wish to leave their residence and the area until the situation has been resolved.
Columbia Street is closed from 5thAvenue to 7thAvenue. Sixth Avenue is closed from Dominion Street to Nicola Street. Motorists and pedestrians are asked to avoid the area.
EARLIER: The 500 block of Columbia Street was off limits to the public this morning (Aug. 2, 2018) as Kamloops RCMP were dealing with an incident at Denny’s Restaurant.
Sergeant Brandon Buliziuk said police were at the scene dealing with a man who had barricaded himself inside the restaurant, and the situation was considered a risk to public safety.
As of 5:25 a.m. Columbia Street was closed between 5th and 6th Avenues, as well as the intersection of 6th Avenue at Columbia Street. Motorists and pedestrians were advised to use alternate routes and there was no time estimate for re-opening.
“The public safety threat is currently contained to the business in question pending the attendance of the Southeast District Emergency Response Team,” stated Buliziuk in a news release.