Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says there were multiple victims after the RCMP responded to reports of an active shooter Tuesday in the town of Faro but there is no longer a safety threat to the community.
Silver said in a release that RCMP took “decisive” action and arrested a suspect.
It was not immediately clear if anyone has died. The premier’s office and the RCMP could not be reached for comment.
“At this time we know there are multiple victims. The RCMP are actively investigating the incident to confirm additional details,” he said.
“This is truly a tragic situation. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. We stand with the people of Faro during this extremely difficult time.”
Silver said a co-ordinated, inter-agency response is ensuring critical supports are being provided to residents and emergency responders.
He said the Department of Family and Children’s Services is working with education officials to provide crisis response supports to the school community, and that Victims Services and the Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services are providing counselling and immediate assistance.
Jack Bowers, the incoming mayor of Faro, said a call about shots fired came in a little after noon and Faro immediately went into lockdown. He said there had been “multiple injuries.”
“There was a 911 cellphone release advising of the active shooter situation and for folks to remain in their homes and lock their doors,” he said in an interview.
The lockdown notice was rescinded around 3 p.m., he said.
However, the Mounties warned residents in a news release to stay away from several streets in the community, adding there was a significant first responder and police presence in the town.
“Us being a remote community, the major crimes and all the forensic people come from Vancouver, so it’ll be a few days until thorough details are released,” said Bowers, who had spoken to the RCMP.
Bowers was scheduled to be sworn-in as mayor on Tuesday afternoon when news of the shooting came in. A council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night was postponed until next week.
Leonard Faber, the outgoing mayor, said he had also spoken to the RCMP.
Faber expressed shock at what happened in the community, located about 360 kilometres by road northeast of Whitehorse.
“It’s like everybody involved in this is going to be affected one way or the other,” he said.
“It’s a very sad day. It’s going to affect a lot of people here and it’s going to be quite a solemn healing process. It’s going to take quite a while to get over this.”
Yukon’s poet laureate, pj johnson, said from Whitehorse that Yukon is a tight-knit community.
“People are very upset,” she added. “This kind of thing just doesn’t happen here. The entire Yukon is basically one big neighbourhood. You kind of know everybody.”
—The Canadian Press