Police emergency response team members outside a house on Marisa Street in the early-morning hours Wednesday, May 19. (Photo submitted)

Police emergency response team members outside a house on Marisa Street in the early-morning hours Wednesday, May 19. (Photo submitted)

Emergency response team called, tear gas used during mental-health crisis in Nanaimo

Incident happened overnight Wednesday, May 19

An emergency response team was called out in the early-morning hours and police were eventually able to take into custody a man who was in crisis.

Police were initially called to the 500 block of Marisa Street at about midnight May 19, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, and were on scene for hours.

Two people had been able to take a gun away from their roommate, but when police arrived, he refused to leave his room and indicated that he had another gun.

RCMP secured the premises and called in the ERT and a crisis negotiator and eventually deployed “multiple canisters of tear gas,” O’Brien said, which explained the “loud boom” sounds and broken glass neighbours reported hearing.

O’Brien said when police located the individual, he was unconscious and had sustained self-inflicted non-life-threatening injuries, not gunshot wounds. A rifle and ammunition were found in the home and seized.

“He’s getting the help he needs. That’s what it comes down to,” O’Brien said.

He added that the roommates put themselves in a precarious situation.

“That is an individual call … we will not pass judgment on them,” O’Brien said. “They obviously feared for the individual’s life and they made a decision based on what they had to do. Good for them for doing it, but they obviously put themselves in harm’s way. They may also have saved his life.”

READ ALSO: One person shot, one detained in incident in north Nanaimo home



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