REGINA – It was a dramatic first day of school for students in Regina’s northwest. They were on lockdown after a domestic violence dispute lead to a police standoff in the area.
After nearly six hours of waiting, late this afternoon, there was a flurry of activity: police had their weapons drawn, but they didn’t fire. Minutes later, they brought out the suspect in handcuffs, a 47-year old man wanted on charges of assault with a weapon after he allegedly threatened a 49 year old woman with a knife Monday evening.
“Police were not able to find him after the initial report last night. At about 10 minutes after 10 this morning, Tuesday, September 3rd, police received a call from the same woman – the 49-year old, and she indicated the man had returned to the house,” said Elizabeth Popowich, spokesperson for the Regina Police Service.
Police say the woman and the man were in a relationship and that the woman, unharmed, was able to leave the house before placing the call to police. However, the man remained inside the house. Police secured the perimeter, and a canine unit and crisis negotiator team arrived on scene. They seized a firearm and an axe from outside the home.
Schools in the area, including Thom and O’Neill high schools, St. Peter’s and Gladys McDonald elementary schools and the Regina Huda School went on lockdown – no one was allowed in or out except for parents who came to pick up their kids. Some parents stayed to watch.
“It said that the schools weren’t in any danger, but as a precaution. It had RPS at the end of the message and I knew it was pretty serious,” explained Margo Boyko, whose son goes to Thom Collegiate. “So I came right away to Thom, couldn’t get into Thom and I saw this all blocked off and I’ve been sitting here since about five after 12.”
Police assured everyone there was little risk posed to the neighbourhood. Around three o’clock, both school boards asked parents to pick up their kids so they could safely go home. An hour later, the suspect was taken into custody.