Police say they found stolen first responder uniforms, high-calibre firearms and a homemade bomb at a home in southeast Edmonton after a standoff last weekend.
It started early Saturday in the Jackson Heights neighbourhood in Mill Woods.
Just before 4 a.m., Edmonton police said officers spotted three men loading suspicious items into a taxi at a home near 44 Avenue and James Crescent.
When they saw police, the men fled back into the home, leaving the bags behind.
Inside the bags, police said officers found two high-powered rifles with silencers, several other firearms, and an Edmonton Police Service uniform.
A fourth man came out of the home. He was found to have outstanding warrants and was arrested.
Police said the EPS tactical section was called in, and the home was contained for a day while police negotiated with the people inside.
Doug Auchenberg lives in the area and believes the home is a rental. He woke around 8 a.m. Saturday to a loud noise.
“We were woken up to a battering ram going through the neighbour’s garage door there,” Auchenberg said, adding he looked outside and saw the tactical team in his crescent.
During that day-long standoff, police said another man, a woman and a child came out of the home.
“I was able to get footage of them getting the first perpetrator out of the house. He came out peacefully and they got him out nice,” Auchenberg said.
He said he thought that was it and texted his wife, who had left to go get coffee and then became stuck on the other side of the police perimeter down the street.
“I was like, ‘It should be over. They got him.’ And she’s like, ‘No, I guess there’s more people in the house.’ So then it just continued from there.
“And then more devices, more drones, more technology went into the house and they were probably doing more surveillance.”
Auchenberg said the situation carried on through the day.
“I just believe that when they got the last two or one person(s), they came through from the street side and that’s how they got him. We just (saw) a lot of smoke. They must have put a smoke bomb in or something.”
A news release issued Thursday said after the initial three people came out, officers “had information that indicated there were still others inside the residence, and containment continued until the residence was determined to be empty of occupants in the early hours of Jan. 30, 2022.”
Police searched the home and found “numerous firearms, an improvised explosive device (IED), and police, fire and EMS uniforms.”
An IED is a homemade bomb that can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life. Many Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan were killed by IEDs.
Auchenberg said he’s seen police at the home a few times but didn’t think anything of it.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. As of Thursday afternoon, they had not released any information on the number of arrests made or charges laid.