RCMP say no evidence of shots fired after Halifax-area reports prompt emergency alert
Police asked residents to stay inside on Friday afternoon and multiple stores closed down
Nova Scotia RCMP say they have found no evidence of shots being fired in some Halifax-area communities Friday afternoon after reports prompted officials to issue a provincewide emergency alert.
Police tweeted at 5:37 p.m. local time there was no evidence of shots fired in Hubley, Tantallon and Hammonds Plains. An updated alert message said residents no longer had to shelter in place.
The emergency alert was issued to Nova Scotians just after 4 p.m. The alert said police were on the scene in the wooded area between Haliburton Hills and Highland Park Heights subdivisions in the community of Hammonds Plains, which is a suburb of Halifax.
The alert said there was an additional report of shots fired in the Omega Court area of Hubley, also in the Halifax area. Residents of nearby Tantallon were also told to stay in their homes.
All clear; The areas of Haliburton Heights, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hubley?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Hubley</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tantallon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tantallon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HammondsPlains?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HammondsPlains</a> have been extentively searched. No evidence of shots fired. Police continue to patrol the area.—@RCMPNS
"Residents are advised to shelter in place and refrain from travel until being advised otherwise," it said.
Following the initial alert, multiple stores in Bedford, Sackville and Dartmouth Crossing were closed down.
Amidst the confusion, a vehicle from Nova Scotia's Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department was stopped and searched along Highway 101 following a complaint.
A spokesperson for the department said in an email the complaint had to do with a "presumed weapons sighting" made by a member of the public. No weapons were found and the employee was cleared, said the department spokesperson.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority said its hospitals in the central zone, which includes the Halifax area, were in lockdown as a precaution because of the police activity.
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation closed all its stores in the Halifax region for the same reason.
2 men arrested in unrelated incident
In an unrelated incident, Halifax Regional Police arrested two men regarding a weapons complaint in Dartmouth on Friday after being called to the Canadian Tire location in Dartmouth Crossing.
In a news release, police allege the two men, ages 26 and 22, were passing a firearm — later determined to be an airsoft gun — back and forth in the parking lot.
The two men are facing charges for possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and will appear at Dartmouth provincial court at a later date.
Halifax Regional Police also confirmed there were no shots fired on Connaught Avenue in Halifax on Friday, following reports that surfaced on social media.
In a statement, police said the reports were due to "public confusion" about the public alert issued by RCMP and where recipients were located when they received the alert.