HALIFAX – A mass murder plot in Halifax has been foiled by police Friday evening, according to Nova Scotia RCMP.
One man is dead and three people are in custody in relation to the plot, said police at a press conference Friday evening. The 19-year-old deceased man was reported dead in Timberlea, N.S.on Friday morning. Police said they believe everyone involved in the plot has been detained and all weapons are in custody.
WATCH BELOW: Nova Scotia RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan provides details of the events that led to the arrest of three people in a thwarted mass murder plot.
RCMP said the Timberlea man and a 23-year-old Geneva, Illinois woman had access to firearms and were planning to kill as many people as possible at a public venue in Halifax before killing themselves. The plan was to take place on Saturday, Feb. 14, said police.
Information was provided to police regarding a potential significant weapons-related threat on Thursday. RCMP and Halifax regional police from the Criminal Investigations Division are both investigating.
“Had they been able to carry out their plan, the potential was for there to be a large number of individual citizens put at risk,” said the Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan.”And that relates to the potential for how many potentially could have been killed.”
Evidence also suggested that two other males, aged 20 and 17, of Halifax and Cole Harbour respectively, were involved. Police said their role in the plot is still under investigation.
Investigators located the 19-year-old male suspect at a Tiger Maple Avenue residence around 1:20 a.m. Friday morning.
An Emergency Response Team entered his residence and found him deceased. The Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
Around 2 a.m. Friday, police arrested the 20-year-old male and 23-year-old female suspects without incident at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Shortly after 11 a.m., police went on to arrest the 17-year-old male suspect without incident at a Cole Harbour residence.
The suspects remain in police custody and the Integrated Criminal Investigations Division continues to investigate.
Police said that they are not characterizing this as terrorism, but they haven’t ruled it out yet. They said this is not “culturally” motivated
“I would classify it as a group of individuals who had some beliefs, and who were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens,” said Brennan. “But there is nothing in the investigation to classify it as a terrorist attack.”
Today, Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made this statement following the arrests:
“I applaud the excellent work by officers of the RCMP, CBSA, Halifax Regional Police and Geneva Police Department for their diligence and collaboration. These arrests are a great example of the fine work they do on a daily basis to help keep Canadians safe. We support our law enforcement agencies who work tirelessly to ensure our communities are safe places to live, work and raise families.”