Residents of the Penticton apartment complex where a police standoff unfolded Wednesday are relieved to be back in their homes.
Several neighbours of the 298 Maple St. complex, where a shooting suspect hid from police on Oct. 2 for hours before surrendering, said they weren’t allowed back inside their homes until about 7 p.m.
Taylor Beggs, who lives behind unit 117 where the suspect was hiding, said she was waiting outside for most of the standoff, and witnessed police using a megaphone to communicate with the suspect as well as a robot, which she believes was used to get a visual of inside the unit.
“It was so weird,” Beggs said. “It looks like one of those ones you would see in the movies.”
The incident began around noon on Wednesday, with officers responding to a report of a man having been shot inside a house at 464 Winnipeg St.
Upon arrival to the Winnipeg Street residence, officers confirmed one male victim appeared to have been shot and he was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The investigation led officers to believe the apartment complex on Maple Street may have been involved and a heavy police presence formed outside, blocking off the stretch of street between Rene and Birch avenues.
Witnesses saw at least five people handcuffed, and then watched several hours of standoff between police and the male suspect hiding inside.
Beggs said the suspect was eventually taken away by police around 4:15 p.m., but she saw the other people who were handcuffed sitting outside the doors for unit 117 later last night, around 9 p.m.
For her son’s sake, she said she was glad she didn’t see them there again Thursday morning.
While Beggs said most of the units at the complex are “really great,” the unit where the suspect hid and where the other people were sitting is “really, really sketchy.”
“I don’t like to bring my son outside here to play. I’m always with him regardless, but it’s still kind of scary,” she said. “It’s not like I can afford much else in this town. It’s definitely sketchy at times.”
Since she moved to the complex six months ago, she said she’s seen people sleeping by the dumpsters after “shooting up,” and lots of foot traffic in and out of the unit in question.
“Even in that short six months there’s been so much that’s happened that’s been really terrifying,” she said. “We were really close to the shooting in April as well.”
Beggs’ son attends Queen’s Park Elementary, located about 300 metres from the complex.
“I always make him hold my hand outside,” she said.
While she was relieved to be back in her home Thursday morning, she did not wish the same to the suspect.
“I’m hoping that they get evicted,” she said. “I would like to not have to worry about our safety as much.”
Another neighbour who preferred not to be named agreed with Beggs.
“Now that they’re gone it’s good,” the neighbour said. “I know that that house was the only one that was problematic.”
An RCMP officer at the scene on Thursday morning told Black Press Media those involved in the incident who had not been taken into custody had been asked not to return to the unit at this time.
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