A tense standoff between police and a man barricaded in a Saskatoon home is over. Police say the man suspected to have barricaded himself in a room of the home on the 500 block of Avenue Q North, has been found dead.
It all began around 9 a.m. CST, when Ron Zerebeski returned home from a medical appointment.
Zerebeski told that things just didn’t look right when he made his way up the walk.
“I went to go into the house and there was a sawhorse lying in front of my big window. I went, ‘What the hell? Somebody threw it there,’ and I went to go into my house and the side window was broken out of my door,” he said.
Zerebeski was ready to go inside to investigate, but had second thoughts and called police instead.
According to a Saskatoon Police Service spokesperson, officers searched the home and found one room closed. When the door was opened just a crack, police saw an armed man inside with a gun, and that’s when shots were fired.
Police couldn’t say if the suspect fired a weapon, but officers quickly retreated and set up a safe zone around the home.
“We’re not too sure if the suspect had fired or not. We do know that our officers did fire,” police Chief Clive Weighill told reporters in the evening. While they know at least two officers fired shots, Weighill said they’re unsure how many shots the officers fired.
At 4:30 p.m., after repeated attempts to make contact with the suspect were not successful, officers went into the bedroom where a man was found dead. Weighill said that man is believed to the suspect.
Weighill explained that any time there is a police-involved shooting, it is reported to the Ministry of Justice. That has already been done in this case, and another agency will be brought in to investigate the incident to provide oversight.
As of 6 p.m. when Weighill spoke to the media, it wasn’t known whether or not the man found dead was killed by the gunshots fired by police, or whether the man took his own life.
“I’ve spoken to both members, so have the deputy chiefs. They seem fine right now but I think that’s one of the last things any police officer wants to be involved in, because you’re always going to second-guess your actions. It’s a tough situation for our officers.”
Guns in the home
The standoff was very troubling for Zerebeski, That he had a number of hunting rifles in the home, along with ammunition.
“I have guns locked in a gun safe, but they found my Dewalt drills and they figure maybe they tried drilling the gun case out to get into them.”
Weighill told reporters it isn’t yet known if the suspect accessed any weapons in the home.
There were no police injuries.