Bernard elementary was briefly put in a lockdown situation Wednesday right around pickup at the end of the school day due to a police incident at a notorious drug house adjacent to the school.
The odd incident began as RCMP drug section officers were waiting to execute a search on the well-known house that has caused grief for neighbours for years.
Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said the plainclothes officers watching the house were waiting for the school kids to clear before executing the warrant.
But then a 911 call came in.
“They were sitting on the house, the warrant is coming through on the fax machine, they were waiting for school to close and the detachment gets a call that there is someone in the residence with a knife,” Rail said Thursday.
A weapons complaint triggers a large police presence, which explains why there were more than a dozen RCMP officers, including the drug section officers.
The house is well-known to police with the most high-profile incident occurring in the summer of 2016 when 40-year-old John Anderson was killed inside. David McKay and Cyndie Arryelle Markel-Rempel are accused in his killing and the case is still making its way through the justice system.
Police raided the home Wednesday and found 18 people inside. Many of them were handcuffed sitting out on the front lawn and in the driveway as the search warrant was executed. Rail said police did not find anything substantive. There was a small quantity of drugs, paraphernalia consistent with the sale of drugs, and a replica gun.
One little boy walking home from school Wednesday with a caregiver told The Progress the kids were told they were in “lockdown” but he didn’t know why.
“I’m scared,” he said before being told everything was OK.
Another woman walked by and was heard to similarly console another elementary student.
“They are keeping us safe,” she said of the heavy police presence. “That’s what they are there for.”
Rail confirmed there was never any danger to residents or officers.
He said three people were taken into custody but no one was arrested related to the weapons complaint or the drug raid. The three were individuals wanted on outstanding warrants.
Neighbours have long complained about the coming and going at all hours at the house. One neighbour said it once was a beautiful home built in 1963 as she recalled.
“We call it the crack house,” said another.
In another incident in the summer, an alleged thief was chased by construction workers many blocks to the Glenwood house. The thief was arrested at the scene.