Police shot man dead near Dartmouth after he threatened person: RCMP

A 24-year-old man threatened another man, fled a house, and was shot dead in a confrontation with police near Dartmouth, N.S., Halifax RCMP said Saturday afternoon.

Westphal residents saw armed police officers searching greenbelt before gunshots rang out

Many emergency services vehicles are on the scene. (Submitted by Marilyn Burford)

A 24-year-old man threatened another man, fled a house, and was shot dead in a confrontation with police near Dartmouth, N.S., Halifax RCMP said Saturday afternoon.

Police got a weapons complaint from the Westphal neighbourhood at 7:48 a.m. and blocked off the area between 40 Broom Rd. and Highway 7.

"As our members responded, the man fled the home and entered a wooded area," RCMP Cpl. Jen Clarke said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. "While police were attempting to locate him utilizing an RCMP police dog service, they were confronted by the man, resulting in the officers discharging their firearms."

Neighbours reported seeing armed police scanning the area and one heard two shots fired.

RCMP did not release the dead man's name or any other details about him.

No RCMP officers were hurt and they're not looking for anyone else.

Police won't say whether the man had a weapon on him when he was shot. They will only say that they responded to a call of a man threatening to shoot another man. 

SIRT investigating death

The province's Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating the death.

"We're just trying to gather some evidence at this point," SIRT director Felix Cacchione told CBC News Saturday. "We are on scene and taking over the investigation."

RCMP said they were unsure when the road would reopen and asked the public to stay away from the area.​

The shooting happened near Mariner Auctions building in Westphal. (Submitted by Marilyn Burford)
Terry Burton was on his back deck when he heard panting. He looked down and saw the RCMP canine unit and two other heavily armed RCMP officers in his backyard. 

"He looked up at me very politely and said, 'Sir, go back into your house,'" Burton said.  

He did and saw more armed officers outside his front window.
Adam Smith saw armed police near his house and locked the doors to protect his two children. (Emma Davie/CBC)

Burton said the man threatened was one of his neighbours. His neighbour told him someone he knew came into the house in the morning and pulled a gun on him. Burton doesn't know what happened after that.

Marilyn Burford lives nearby and saw something covered in a tarp beside the Mariner Auctions building. 

"I saw a heavy police presence," she told CBC News. "There was police tape and all kinds of lights flashing from more than one ambulance and police car."

Neighbour heard 2 gunshots

Adam Smith said he saw a police car and assumed it was a speed trap before he learned what was happening.

"I'm still shaken up a bit," he said.

He saw a police officer with a protective vest and a rifle looking at a nearby greenbelt. Smith, who was home with his two children, went inside and locked the doors.

Police blocked off Broom Road in Westphal as they investigated the incident. (David Burke/CBC)

He's familiar with guns and heard what sounded like two gunshots.

"You don't really process until after somebody died," he said. "You don't want that to happen in your neighbourhood — or anyone's."

Smith said he was grateful to the officers who stood "between my house and somebody they felt was a threat." 

He said it's a friendly neighbourhood and he hadn't seen anything like this before.

with files from Blair Sanderson, Shaina Luck, David Burke and Emma Davie