Nova Scotia

Dartmouth search: no sign of reported gunman, police say

Halifax police say there's no sign of a reported man with a rifle in a nearby industrial park.

Police unclear whether report was false alarm, or if someone left scene

Police descended on a business in the Burnside industrial park Saturday afternoon. (Richard Cuthbertson/CBC)

Police say there was no sign of a reported gunman at an industrial park in the Halifax area. 

Heavily armed police spent hours Saturday investigating a single report of an armed man in the Burnside industrial park in Dartmouth, a community east of Halifax. 

Const. Jeff Carr, spokesman for Halifax Regional Police, said a caller reported seeing a man with a rifle pacing back and forth on a rooftop.

"He was very confident that it was a long gun," Carr told reporters.

On Saturday evening, police revealed that they did seize a gun that possibly could be the one a witness saw earlier but did not divulge any more details.

By 7 p.m. AT, police had cleared the scene after searching the property for most of the afternoon. It's unclear if the report was a false alarm, or if the person described in the report left the area.

"Presently there was no shots fired, and we're just going to have to follow up on some of the eyewitness accounts that we had to determine what exactly happened here to bring us to this point," said Staff Sgt. Bill Morris of the Halifax Regional Police.

Windmill Road closed

The drama began shortly after 11:30 a.m. The initial search covered a wide area in Burnside, forcing the closure of the busy Windmill Road for a while.

Investigators spoke to employees of several businesses in the area. Witnesses reported a heavy police presence, including police dogs.

Police later narrowed their search to nearby Dawn Drive and Dartmouth Metals, a salvage yard.

Peter Giberson, with Dartmouth Metals, told CBC News police asked his employees to leave the building while they investigated.

Giberson said he didn't see anyone with a gun.

A worker at Dartmouth Metals was later seen leaving the building under heavy police surveillance. He told CBC News that he didn't leave with the other employees because he didn't realize the severity of the situation.

An employee at another business on the street told CBC News that police told him to stay inside and that the area was under a lockdown.

'I was pretty scared'

"I was pretty scared. I'm not going to lie," said Dylan Seward, who works at a pottery shop. 

"Everybody's a little on edge," after the traumatic events earlier this week in Moncton, N.B, he added. 

Carr agrees that tensions are high after three RCMP officers were shot to death and two others wounded in Moncton.

"That's why you're seeing the response that you're seeing right now," he said.

A second man was removed from the scene by police. Carr said it appears that he heard about what was happening on social media and decided to jump over a fence to get into the compound. The man was soon sent on his way. 

Carr said he didn't know why the man would do that.

Carr said police were wrapping up at the scene and clearing the compound, which includes a number of buildings in a fenced-in area.