‘No threat detected’ after call triggers major police operation at Montreal building housing Ubisoft

Click to play video: 'Major police operation in Mile End a suspected hoax'
Major police operation in Mile End a suspected hoax
Montreal police deployed the canine unit, SWAT team, an armoured vehicle and dozens of police officers to the building that houses Ubisoft in the Mile End Friday afternoon after receiving a call about an armed robbery and a hostage taking. Gloria Henriquez reports from the scene that people inside the building have been evacuated and that the whole thing may have been a hoax – Nov 13, 2020

Police confirmed Friday evening that a major operation that was launched in Montreal’s Mile-End neighbourhood is over.

The response was triggered by a call reporting a hostage situation at the building housing Ubisoft offices.

While police did not refer to the situation as a hoax, they said no threat was detected.

Police, however, said an investigation is being launched to look into the call responsible for the massive police deployment.

Anyone with information is being asked to call 9-1-1 or contact the anonymous Info-Crime line at 514-393-1133.

The police operation at the game developers’ office building, located at the intersection of St-Laurent Boulevard and St-Viateur Avenue, began Friday afternoon.

Click to play video: 'Police operation underway in Montreal near Ubisoft'
Police operation underway in Montreal near Ubisoft

A large number of officers were dispatched to the area, including a tactical team.

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“It was crazy because I was just by my window reading my book,” said area resident Rose-Marie Durant.

“There were cops everywhere…I saw the SWAT team entering the building.”

Police quickly cordoned off the area and were asking people to stay away.

Video posted to social media showed officers pulling out their weapons and seeking cover behind a patrol car.

Just before 4 p.m., police announced the building was being evacuated and that no threats had been detected.

Several ambulances were also on site, but police confirmed no one was injured.

Evacuees were taken to a different location and will be meeting with investigators to give their official statements.

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Police also said social workers from the local health agency would be on hand for those who need support.

In a statement Friday evening, Ubisoft thanked police for their “quick and professional response” in “helping bring the situation under control.”

“We are extremely relieved this was resolved without incident,” the statement read.

Ubisoft also saluted its employees for showing “courage and composure.”

Those in the neighbourhood said they were shocked by Friday’s events.

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“It’s pretty weird to see something like this happening in the middle of the day in Quebec especially with what happened a few weeks ago in Quebec City,” Durant said. “I hope nothing bad will happen.”

Grey Miles, who has lived in the Mile-End for 10 years, also expressed his concern.

“There’s violence in the air,” he said, adding it was uncharacteristic of the neighbourhood.

“This neighbourhood is exceptionally calm, a place where people spend a lot of time outside, walking to the coffee shops — it’s known for that. It’s a quiet, peaceful area.”

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante took to social media early Friday afternoon to say she was following the situation and was in close contact with the SPVM.

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–With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez, Tim Sargeant, Benson Cook and Dan Spector

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