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Suspect in custody after almost 12-hour standoff with police

Last Updated Dec 27, 2019 at 11:40 pm EDT

After nearly 12 hours, a standoff between police and a man barricaded inside a home in Richmond Hill ended peacefully with the suspect in custody.

The incident began around around 10:30 a.m. Friday morning when an officer pulled over a vehicle at a gas station at Major Mackenzie Drive and Bayview Avenue during a traffic stop.

The driver then pulled out a firearm and started shooting at police. The officer fired back. The officer was not injured but it is unknown if the suspect was hit.

Multiple callers told 680 NEWS that the Petro Canada at the intersection was the scene of the shooting.

One caller said he was at the Coffee Time in the area when he heard gunshots, walked out and witnessed the scene unfolding.

“There was a young guy firing at a police cruiser. There was a Sleep Country Canada truck there — the two occupants of that bailed and ran across to where we were. I heard a few more shots, at least three to four more shots and then I’d seen a brown SUV come out of the gas station and head westbound on Major Mackenzie and then a couple of seconds later, police were in pursuit of that vehicle,” he said.

The suspect fled in a vehicle to a nearby house and barricaded himself inside the home.

Police evacuated nearby homes in the area and began negotiating with the suspect.

Shortly after 2 p.m., the Special Investigations Unit announced it had invoked its mandate “after man possibly struck during exchange of gunfire with police in Richmond Hill.”

“There is no confirmation of any injuries at this stage,” police tweeted.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

After spending most of the day negotiating with the man, tactical units advanced on the home just before 10 p.m. and later emerged with a suspect in handcuffs.

Police say a large police presence will remain in the area of Elmwood Avenue and Maple Avenue as they continue with their investigation.

Police at the scene of a shooting at a gas station at Major Mackenzie Drive and Bayview Avenue in Richmond Hill on Dec. 27, 2019. CITYNEWS/Douglas Boyd
Police at a residential street after a shooting at a nearby gas station at Major Mackenzie Drive and Bayview Avenue on Dec. 27, 2019. CITYNEWS/Josef Fazio