By Tina Comeau
Forty-nine-year-old Stacey Eugene Beals was arrested and taken into custody on Saturday, April 26, after being seen in the vicinity of the Atlantic Superstore on Starrs Road carrying a loaded firearm.
The firearm was a .22 rifle, according to the RCMP.
At 12:03 p.m. on Saturday several RCMP members were dispatched to the vicinity of the Superstore on Starrs Road after a report that a man was near the back of the store with a firearm.
The man was located in a field behind the Superstore, and the arrest was made near Charles Crosby Drive. Taking part in the arrest was an off-duty RCMP officer who had been at the scene when the report of the man was made.
RCMP members reportedly had their weapons drawn as they approached the suspect to take him into custody.
Sergeant Alain LeBlanc, a spokesperson for the RCMP, says anytime there is a report of a person carrying a firearm the RCMP obviously take this very seriously.
"He will be facing charges, firearms charges. Thankfully nobody was hurt but when you're carrying a rifle in the town and police respond, there is the potential for someone getting hurt," said Sgt. LeBlanc.
He said that when there is a report a person carrying a firearm, RCMP members absolutely have to assume that the firearm is loaded. In this case the firearm was loaded.
The Superstore and adjoining Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation stores were placed in lockdown until the suspect was taken into custody.
The RCMP say the man appeared to be intoxicated and he was arrested and taken into custody without incident.
A short time later, the RCMP received a report of a break, enter and theft into a residence where a .22 calibre rifle was allegedly stolen. These two incidents are believed to be related.
Beals is facing nine charges and was to appear in Yarmouth Provincial Court on Monday morning. The investigation is continuing.