A 22-year-old Gatineau man wanted by police for three armed robberies in May was finally arrested after a seven-hour standoff when officers found him hiding in a vacant apartment unit's ceiling.

The standoff at 97 Lois St. — an eight-unit, two-storey apartment complex — began at about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday when tactical unit officers arrived.

mi-gat-barricade-300

Police responded just before noon to Lois Street in Gatineau's Hull sector after a man barricaded himself inside an apartment building. (Radio-Canada)

The suspect inside the building was believed to be armed, police said.

Nearby buildings were evacuated and other residents nearby were asked to stay inside their homes in case of any gunfire. Police arrested a man early on but he was released from custody without charge.

Police established a large perimeter around the apartment building. Slowly, officers entered the building and began escorting residents outside.

Suspect wanted for 3 armed robberies

It took seven hours to find the suspect, who was hiding in the ceiling of a vacant unit, police said.

Several roads were closed in the area but they were reopened shortly after 7 p.m.

Anthony Parker, 22, of Gatineau had been wanted by police for three armed robberies in May.

Two of the robberies, on May 10 and May 23, happened at the same Couche-Tard in Hull. A third happened at a mobile phone store in Gatineau.