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A five-hour standoff between an armed man and police outside a New Westminster casino ended just before 11 a.m. Thursday when the man was taken down.
Shortly before that a bang could be heard from the area around the Starlight Casino in the Queensborough Landing shopping area. An ambulance then raced past a police barricade and quickly returned, bound for a local area hospital.
New Westminster police Insp. Phil Eastwood confirmed the suspect was in the ambulance and had been injured.
The new B.C. Independent Investigation Office is providing oversight on the case, as is automatic when anyone is injured in a police investigation.
Eastwood was unable to give any details as to the man’s condition, who fired off the weapon or even what kind of weapon was involved.
But Eastwood did say the man was armed with what police believed to be a real handgun.
He had also been outside with a woman he apparently knew, according to Eastwood.
Truck driver Jorge Ochoa was near the scene, waiting for instructions about the location for a delivery, when the drama began to unfold.
“The lady is screaming,” he recalled. “Somebody saw it and called police.”
Police reported getting that call at about 5:50 a.m.
Ochoa, who is from Eugene, Ore., wanted to help the woman.
“He had her by the neck,” said the driver. “It looked like he was trying to drag her to the bushes.”
In such situations, he said his natural reaction was to respond. “We have to do something,” he said.
But police told him to stay by his truck instead and the long standoff began.
A Subway sandwich employee said she watched in horror as the gunman held a gun to the head of the woman while police looked on.
The employee, who did not want to be named, said she watched from the store as the hostage taking unfolded. “There was a guy with a gun who had the gun to her head,” she recalled.
Meanwhile, an employee reached inside the Starlight Casino said patrons were still gambling as the doors were locked.
“Everything is normal in here,” she said. “We don’t have any updates on what is happening in the parking lot.”
New Westminster police were helped out during the tense situation by Delta police, RCMP and emergency response teams, while police helicopters circled overhead.
Police negotiators spoke with the man, and the woman eventually made her way to safety.
The standoff created a traffic nightmare in the area, with cars and buses forced to detour when the Queensborough Bridge and adjacent roads were closed.
Police were not revealing any motive for the man’s behaviour.http://www.theprovin...l#ixzz2Bh6r0UNO