'I heard a high-powered gunshot,' Gore Bay resident says of Thursday standoff
SUDBURY -- A Gore Bay man who lives next door to where an hours-long standoff took place Thursday said he was at home watching television when events began to unfold.
"All of a sudden I heard a high-powered gunshot and an officer was running, hiding behind my tree with an assault rifle," said Kevin Bailey on Friday. "Then it just proceeded on from there."
A 43-year-old from Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island has been charged with attempted murder following the lengthy standoff.
Ontario Provincial Police were called to a home on Wright Street in the south end of Gore Bay at 2:35 p.m.
Residents were asked to stay inside and others to avoid the area while police were dealing with the incident involving an armed person. News quickly spread across the community.
"This is a very small town," said Bailey. "Everybody keeps to themselves, but something like this and everybody gets excited and wants to know what's going on. Like my phone was probably ringing, my cellphone, non-stop yesterday with what was going on, to see how I was."
Charged with attempted murder
Police arrested the accused, who has now been charged with attempt to commit murder with a firearm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Kathy Antonio runs My Ol' Blues, a business just blocks away from Wright Street. She said she was first notified by an emergency alert.
"None of us knew what was happening," Antonio said. "It's like I don't have that sound in here as an alarm."
OPP utilized Canada's Emergency Alert System. While it is most often used for large scale incidents, such as a province-wide amber alert, officers are able to use it to alert rural communities in a time of crisis.
"It can be localized to the specific community and it assists us getting the word out there, especially in remote areas, in remote communities that may not have the same media, instant information available," said Insp. Megan Moriarity.
The accused is being held in custody pending a bail hearing on Friday.
Police say there is no longer any concern for public safety.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the OPP's Little Current detachment at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
- With files from Chelsea Papineau