Police in Lethbridge, Alta., say a 40-year-old woman is in custody and charges are pending after an employee at an office that provides free legal advice in southern Alberta was taken hostage and injured.
Police said they were called about an armed female suspect at Lethbridge Legal Guidance in the 400-block of 5 Street S., at about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and responded after taking the call. At about 3 p.m., members of the Lethbridge Police Service’s critical incident team entered the building and took the suspect into custody.
They said the victim, a 54-year-old woman, sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital. In an update released shortly before 8 p.m., police said the victim remained in hospital in serious but stable condition.
Police did not disclose what caused her injuries.
Amber Moens, an employee of nearby café Bread Milk & Honey, was on break when the incident started. She said her boss asked her to check the security cameras.
“(There were) cops everywhere with guns pointed at the exit,” she explained. “I came upstairs and looked out the window and there… (were) more cops out front.
“The next thing I know they were asking us to evacuate.”
A Global News crew at the scene heard one loud bang at around 3 p.m., followed by multiple smaller bangs.
Shortly after, paramedics were seen wheeling a stretcher to an ambulance that then drove away with its siren on.
The name of the suspect was not released.
After the arrest, investigators said there was no longer an ongoing threat, but asked the public to stay away from the area while the investigation continues. Shortly before 8 p.m., police said officers were no longer at the scene.
No further details were released.
–With files from Global News’ Eloise Therien and Phil Heidenreich