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Mounties handle handgun-toting tenant

A verbal argument that resulted in the RCMP calling out its emergency response team ended peacefully Wednesday morning.

The incident started at about 2 a.m. when a 53-year-old male tenant of the Sharman Mobile Home Park on Metral Drive in north Nanaimo and his landlord got into a verbal argument.

“The landlord was over at his tenant’s place,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “They get into a heated argument, a handgun was produced and threats were made.”

The elderly landlord, who is in a wheelchair due to restricted mobility, felt it was unsafe to attempt to leave the residence immediately and it was several hours before an opportunity for him to move to the front porch of the home and call 911 presented itself.

“Alcohol was a factor and he was hoping at one point the guy would fall asleep on him,” O’Brien said.

Mounties plucked the victim off the porch, carried him to safety and, because a firearm was involved, called in ERT members to contain the residence and evacuate nearby homes.

“Our members correctly decided not to go in because they did not know what the situation was or where the individual (suspect) was in the trailer,” O’Brien said. “The correctly backed off, contained the home and called in the ERT.”

Police closed off access to the mobile home park and set up containment by positioning patrol cars at intersections in the surrounding neighbourhood.

“It wasn’t a hostage situation, but our hostage negotiator was used to make contact with him shortly before nine this morning and he came outside and gave himself up,” O’Brien said.

The file has been turned over to Nanaimo RCMP’s Serious Crimes Unit members who have applied for a search warrant to look for any other weapons that might be in the residence.

The suspect was scheduled to appear in Nanaimo provincial court Wednesday to face recommended charges related to weapons and uttering threats.

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