Saskatoon

Sask. RCMP continue to search for suspect after officers reportedly shot at in La Ronge

Police are continuing to search for a suspect after RCMP officers were reportedly shot at in a northern Saskatchewan community around La Ronge, Sask.

Police say 17 people were arrested, with 15 later released without charges

RCMP said this man was still at large and is a suspect after officers were shot at in La Ronge, Sask., on Sunday. (RCMP)

Police are continuing to search for a suspect after RCMP officers were reportedly shot at in a northern Saskatchewan community around La Ronge, Sask., about 300 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

On Sunday afternoon, police issued a public safety alert and said they were searching for two men carrying handguns.

On Monday they offered more details about the incident, including that 17 people were arrested during the investigation, with 15 of them later being released with no charges.

RCMP say the incident began Sunday morning when two officers tried to followed a vehicle to a home in La Ronge after its driver wouldn't pull over.

They say the driver of the car fled on foot and was pursued by an officer.

RCMP say another person then got out of the suspect vehicle and fired shots in the direction of the remaining officers, hitting the patrol vehicle's windshield and radiator. One of the officers returned fire, RCMP say.

RCMP say this bullet hole in their truck's windshield was caused by the suspect shooting at officers. (RCMP)

Police say there was a "gathering" going on at the home where the suspects stopped and that several people came out of the building and were arrested.

RCMP say they are still looking for three people, including the man believed to have shot at the RCMP.

The suspect is described as having short dark hair with sides shaved, was wearing dark pants and a dark shirt with gold patterns down the sleeves and dark running shoes.

RCMP are also still looking for the driver of the car and a female who was in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said the community was shaken by the incident. 

"The ones that I talked to were very scared and didn't know what was going on," said Cook-Searson.

"We were just trying to make sure that people were getting the information that we were receiving from the RCMP."

Cook-Searson said stores and the local health centre were closed and people were ordered to stay in their homes as police searched the community.

"It was a scary situation," she said.

"We just had to lock in place and try and keep everyone safe." 

RCMP said the shooting suspect was last seen on foot in the area of Far Reserve Road, but that there was a possible sighting of him going north on Highway 2, RCMP said.

Motorists were being advised to not stop for hitchhikers, and to contact police immediately if they see the suspect. He is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

While life is beginning to return to normal in the community, schools in La Ronge and Air Ronge will be in hold and secure mode on Monday, meaning children will be kept inside for the day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Shield is a web writer for CBC Saskatoon.

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