Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

A dramatic hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto ended abruptly on Wednesday when police killed a lone gunman.

No one else was injured but those inside the Royal Bank of Canada branch in Maple, Ont., were “definitely traumatized,” said York region police Const. Andy Pattenden.

“We did have to use lethal force in order to gain control of that subject,” Pattenden said.

Police raced to the scene after a call at about 1 p.m. and arrived at the branch to find a gunman as well as a number of other people inside, both staff and clients.

“Officers arriving on the scene were able to get some of those inside out to safety,” Pattenden said. “It did turn into a hostage situation for us.”

Related: Abbotsford police officer killed in shootout

The bank is located in a plaza along with a child-care centre, dentist office, drug store and other outlets. Police said many people were in the plaza at the time, and some reported being told to take cover as the drama unfolded. A negotiating team was brought in, to no avail.

Daycare owner Ellana Katzberg told CTV News that she sent an alert out to parents on her phone when police evacuated the plaza

Officers helped staff carry dozens of children between the ages of 10 months and four years old to the safety of a nearby transit bus.

“We were able to send out an emergency alert to parents right away,” Katzberg told CTV. “Everybody knew where we were and we were in touch with parents throughout the time.”

Investigators were still in the process of clearing the bank and checking a vehicle to try to find out more about the man and his motivation.

Pattenden said he had no details on how many people were caught up in the bank or whether the man made any specific demands.

“I can’t even tell you it was a robbery,” Pattenden said. “(But) being in the bank with a gun was very threatening.”

The plaza with the bank was cordoned off with police tape by Wednesday evening and many officers remained at the scene. At least a half dozen people who were in the bank at the time of the incident were taken to an ambulance bus nearby, many with white blankets wrapped around their shoulders.

In a statement, RBC said it was “extremely relieved” customers and employees were safe.

“Out of respect for our clients and employees who were involved in this incident, and the ongoing investigation, we will not be commenting further,” the bank said.

Related: Suspect in October standoff killed himself: Revelstoke RCMP

Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is reviewing how officers handled the incident.

SIU spokesman Jason Gennaro told reporters on Wednesday evening that two police officers used their firearms during the interaction with the gunman.

He said he could not identify those involved, but said the 25-year-old gunman was pronounced dead on scene.

“The SIU’s investigation is going to be focused on the interaction between the police officers and the individual,” Gennaro said. “Of course as a part of that investigation, we’re going to look at to determine what happened in the lead-up to that event.”

Gennaro said the SIU, which investigates all deaths where police are involved, has brought in eight investigators and four forensic investigators.

with files from Colin Perkel in Toronto.

Peter Goffin , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lack of consultation on Chemainus Road corridor project irks business owners, residents

Surprise expressed over change to anticipated North Cowichan plans

Experience automotive classics and more at the Vancouver Island Concours d’Elegance

Motorcar Weekend features Show and Shine, high-end Concours division, all for a great cause

Settling a Debate About Impeding Traffic

We think it’s the slow drivers that cause problems but it’s seldom the case

SPCA looking for the best of the best wildlife photos

Wildlife-In-Focus photography contest

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read