British Columbia

Peter de Groot manhunt: RCMP appeal directly to alleged gunman

With the manhunt for Peter de Groot in its fourth day, RCMP in Slocan, B.C. have appealed directly to de Groot to come in and talk to them.

Police ask Peter de Groot to come in and talk to them

Manhunt enters fifth day as police appeal to de Groot to come forward 2:03

With the manhunt for Peter de Groot in its fourth day, RCMP in  the village of Slocan, B.C. have appealed directly to de Groot to come in and talk to them.

"We actually heard they used loudspeakers from the RCMP around town saying, 'Peter come out,'" said CBC reporter Kirk Williams, who was in town and talking to residents Saturday.

Peter de Groot in a new photo provided by the RCMP. Police searching from him near Slocan, B.C. have made a direct appeal for de Groot to come in and talk to them. (RCMP handout)

Meanwhile some residents have started up a de Groot support page on Facebook.  A woman who gives her name as Dionne de Groot, [relationship unknown], writes, "Keep safe Peter. I hope you return OK, but unfortunately I don't have much faith in our police system." 

Other residents on the page decry media coverage of the police manhunt as sensational. However, as of 4 p.m. PT Sunday the page had only four "Likes."

De Groot has been on the run since Thursday, when he allegedly fired on police after they showed up to investigate a dispute between two people possibly over the condition of animals he was keeping.

When police returned fire, he fled into the woods.

Neighbour Patty Burge said de Groot has been living in his van for the past year on a lot that has a small barn on it. His animals included cows, pigs and 25 chickens.  

She said de Groot had fallen on hard times over the past year and was having problems feeding his animals.

A village-wide lockdown that was in effect Friday was lifted Saturday except for the area on the other side of the river where de Groot lived.

The area on the other side of the river where Peter de Groot lived remains locked down by RCMP. (CBC)

Police presence in the town is still heavy. 

At the RCMP command post, located in the Village of Slocan office, a number of officers wearing camouflage were preparing for another day of searching the woods surrounding the community.

They have also searched de Groot's home and seized a number of firearms.

Extra resources have been brought into the small village to assist in the manhunt, including air support, the Southeast District Emergency Response Team, a crisis negotiator, police dogs and a tactical armoured vehicle.

With files from Kirk Williams

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