Unconfirmed reports say a five-hour armed standoff Tuesday evening ended with the deaths of two people in Kamloops, B.C.

RCMP negotiators tried but were unable to unable to establish contact with an armed man who was holding up to six government employees at an office in city.

The man is believed to be one of the two dead.

Police say a 56-year-old man was laid off from his job at the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection Tuesday. He left, but later returned, armed with a pistol.

Shots were heard shortly after.

RCMP Constable Mike Pears said some of the employees left the building.

Specialists are on the scene, consoling family members of people who are still inside the building.