A police stand-off at a Saskatoon home is over.
Police were called to the 500 block of Avenue Q North on Thursday at around 9 a.m. after getting a report of a break and enter in progress.
The person making the report told police there was a man who they did not know inside their house.
Officers went into the home and found a suspect inside a bedroom who was in possession of a long-barreled firearm. Police Chief Clive Weighill told reporters the officers engaged with the man, and shots were fired. Police then exited the home and established a perimeter.
They re-entered the home at about 4:30 p.m. and found a man dead inside.
“We didn’t know if he was still holed up and barricaded inside the bedroom until we could clear the house,” Weighill said.
He added that a preliminary investigation suggest police fired their weapons, but it’s not clear if shots were fired by the suspect.
It’s also unknown how the man died, whether it was self-inflicted or from the exchange with police.
A request has been made to the Department of Justice to assign another agency to provide oversight as an investigation into the incident is launched.
Weighill said the officers involved will have a few days off.
“We don’t want them to come back to work right away,” he said. “They seem fine right now but I think that’s the last thing any police officer wants to be involved in, because you’re always going to second guess your actions.”
HOMEOWNER’S SON SPEAKS
Earlier in the day, Jeffery Zerebeski spoke with 650 CKOM and the house belongs to his father.
He said his Dad came home from an appointment to find his window and door had been smashed.
Zerebeski said his father then came to his place nearby, where they phoned police.
“My Dad and I then went back over, back to the house and from that point on it’s just been non-stop police,” he said.
Zerebeski said there was concern because there are guns stored in the house.
Saskatoon Police had been diverting traffic away from the area.
— JT Marshall (@jtmarshallCKOM) October 6, 2016
Two schools near the home had already taken extra precautions.
Both St. Edward and St. Maria Goretti schools were put into a secure mode, meaning students were not allowed outside for lunch or recess and the outside doors had been locked as classes continued inside.
People who live near the home said they were not allowed to go home.
Kim Rodriguez lives one block away from the house and was turned away as she tried to pick her kids up from school.
“I can’t get to my house. They have the alleys and streets all blocked off,” she said. “I couldn’t get to the school, so I had to go around an extra block to get there.”
Andrew who lives a block away says he knew something was wrong when the tactical units showed up.
He and the rest of his neighbours were told to stay in their basements while the situation unfolded.
“They had two black suburban parked in front of our house. They they had the communications bus sitting in front of the house all day. Lots of guys with semi autos walking around.”
A man in tactical gear went door-to-door letting neighbours know when it was safe to leave their homes. Andrew said this kind of thing is not typical on his street.
“You hear somebody say a letter of the alphabet, and that’s were your living, a lot of people turn their nose up. But this is a really quiet established neighbourhood.”