New West police say a report about a man with a rifle at the Sapperton SkyTrain station came in at 10:20 p.m. PT, followed by a further report that the man had entered the hospital near the underground parking garage.
New Westminster police, Transit Police, Coquitlam and Surrey RCMP and the Integrated Police Dog Services were all part of a large police response to the incident. About 20 police vehicles were spotted outside the hospital along with officers with drawn weapons.
A search of the hospital and surrounding area turned up nothing. Police say they are now examining closed circuit video.
"It's with good reason that the safe transportation of firearms is a matter we take very seriously," said New Westminster Police Sgt. Jeff Scott. "We're asking for public assistance in passing along any information, including photo or video footage they may have of the suspect."
According to Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma, access to Royal Columbian was restricted between 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. PT.
"Last night's issue was resolved quickly, without incident. Patient care was not impacted by this and the hospital remained fully operational," she said in a statement.
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Royal Columbian Hospital was briefly put under lockdown on Tuesday night, after reports of a man with a rifle in the area.
"An extensive search of the hospital and surrounding parking garages was conducted to ensure the safety of staff and patients, however the male was not located," the release read. "CCTV footage has been obtained for closer analysis."
New Westminster police have arrested a man after someone carried a rifle into Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster on Tuesday night.
According to police, officers received reports of a man with a rifle in the area of Sapperton Station around 10:20 p.m.
Police said it was reported that the man may have been trying to sell the rifle, and that he may also have entered the hospital via a parking garage, sparking a lockdown.
The man, who has not been named because no charges have been laid, was arrested on Oct. 10 at 11:55 p.m.
A report of this nature is something we take very seriously. We devoted numerous resources during the initial call for service, and for the investigation that followed, Sgt. Jeff Scott said in a release. There is no public safety concern at this time, as we have the male in-custody who is alleged to have been carrying the firearm. We are thankful for this safe outcome, and our investigation is on-going.
Fraser Health said the incident resulted in access to the hospital being restricted from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
“Occasionally, we must restrict access to a hospital to ensure the safety and security of staff, patients and the public,” a spokesperson told Global News.
The New Westminster Police Department (NWPD) said its officers and Transit Police set up a containment area around the hospital, and were joined by support from the Surrey and Coquitlam RCMP along with a dog squad.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Westminster Police Department at 604-5252-5411, or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.
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