By Braedon Clark
A large police search in Dartmouth has ended with officers finding a long gun, although no suspect.
Armed police descended on the area of Windmill and Dawn roads in the Burnside Industrial Park on Saturday afternoon after someone called to report a man with a rifle on the roof of a business.
Dozens of officers were on scene and people from three buildings were evacuated.
Among them was Ivan Hall, an employee of Dartmouth Metals and Bottles Ltd. who somehow missed the evacuation order.
When he finally emerged from the building, he expected to see one or two officers. Instead, he was greeted by members of the Halifax Regional Police’s Emergency Response Team, armed with carbine rifles and encased in body armour.
Hall held his arms out to his side to show he was unarmed, and was quickly escorted away.
“I was just in there washing the walls,” Hall said with a rag in hand. “One never knows, this sort of thing can happen anywhere.”
Police set up a perimeter around Dartmouth Metals on Dawn Drive after being called to the scrap yard just after 11:30 a.m.
Traffic was slowed on Windmill Road and there were at least a dozen police vehicles on scene.
The recent events in Moncton certainly lent extra gravity to the situation and may have contributed to what was a very strong response.
“It has been a very tense week for policing,” said HRP Sgt. Jeff Carr. “Safety is our utmost concern in these types of situations.”
Although officers arrived soon after the call, they could find no trace of anyone other than Hall and another man who jumped a fence to get into the area. He was briefly handcuffed by police. The man’s car was searched, but he was later released.
The force’s Emergency Response Team remained in the area for several hours in order to complete their search, which ended just after 6 p.m.
By that point officers had found what Staff Sgt. Bill Morris described as a “long gun,” along with two pellet-type guns.
Morris said the guns had not been fired and that it was impossible to say if it was the same weapon that the caller reported seeing that morning, or even if anyone had been on the roof at all.