A five-day manhunt in British Columbia's Kootenays region has ended in the death of suspected gunman Peter de Groot following an "interaction" with police in a cabin.

De Groot, 45, allegedly fired on police near the small community of Slocan after they showed up to investigate a dispute between two people — possibly over the condition of animals he was keeping.

When police returned fire, de Groot fled into the woods, prompting officers to lock down the village and evacuate schools and homes.

At a news conference Monday night, police said an emergency response team found the suspected gunman around 1.20 p.m. PT in a cabin near a gravel pit in the area.

''There was an interaction between the subject of the ongoing search and the two emergency response team members," RCMP Supt. Frank Smart said in a statement. "We can confirm the subject is now deceased.''

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is now investigating.The Independent Investigations Office probes incidents involving police that result in serious injury or death.   

News of de Groot's death comes after police spent five days searching the heavily forested area and its rugged terrain. For Slocan residents, life was returning to normal.

At the police news conference, the RCMP's Smart thanked local residents for their patience during the five-day manhunt.

However, Smart would give no more details of the circumstances of de Groot's death, pending the independent investigation.

"This was a serious incident and we are providing ongoing support to the families of the deceased as well as to the police officers involved," Smart said.