Kamloops Mounties took multiple people into custody Monday between two standoffs at local motels — one at the edge of downtown and another along the Frontage Road in Valleyview.
At about 9 a.m. a police officer spotted a man he knew was wanted on an unendorsed warrant, leading to police surrounding the Canada's Best Value Inn and Suites at 1390 Columbia St. with guns drawn. Spike belts were deployed at the entrances to the property, nearby streets were cordoned off by police vehicles and a few guests and patrons from an attached restaurant were evacuated by police.
The suspect, Tristan Fernandez, 25, was arrested shortly after 11:30 a.m., with the assistance of a police service dog, in connection with the Aug. 3 robbery of the Lordco store at 1395 Battle St. east of downtown, during which a van used in the heist set ablaze in Riverside Park. Three people were arrested for that robbery, then released by the court under various conditions.
Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Dana Napier said she was not sure how Monday’s incident initially unfolded, when asked if Fernandez was spotted on the street and ran into the motel, but said the initial officer alerted others to the area and they surrounded the building after assessing the risk.
Fernandez has a lengthy criminal record and has been arrested numerous times in the past decade for various offences.
Napier did not know whether Fernandez was armed during Monday’s standoff, and did not have details regarding where on the property he was apprehended.
She said no one was injured in the arrest.
Kamloops RCMP clarified on Tuesday (Oct. 5) the incident it dealt with at the Motel 6 in Valleyview Monday turned out to be an unfounded report of a gunshot. RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said police responded with a canine unit and the Southeast District Emergency Response Team (ERT) at about 10:45 a.m. in response to the sound, which was also heard by other residents.
“Each room in the motel was evacuated and searched. No injuries or signs confirming a gun shot were located,” Evelyn said in a press release.
The incident unfolded over the course of nearly five hours as ERT concluded its investigation just before 3:30 p.m.
During the operation KTW observed three people exit the motel with their hands up before being lead away in handcuffs. Evelyn did not have information regarding those individuals, but confirmed there are no charges pending. She said the three may have just been detained at the scene for officer safety and later released, but could not confirm that at this time.
If anyone has any information related to this investigation, they are asked to contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 and reference file number 2021-34968.
Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week