Traffic was blocked off near the Chilliwack General Hospital and an apartment complex on Mary Street was evacuated Feb. 4 after a gun-wielding suspect held a prolonged standoff with police.

Traffic was blocked off near the Chilliwack General Hospital and an apartment complex on Mary Street was evacuated Feb. 4 after a gun-wielding suspect held a prolonged standoff with police.

Weapons charges for Chilliwack suspect in police standoff

Initial reports to police were about a man and woman who were overheard yelling from a Mary Street apartment

Traffic was blocked around Chilliwack General Hospital and an apartment complex on Mary Street was evacuated earlier this month after a gun-wielding man held a prolonged standoff with police.

James Seymour Sutherland, 27, of Chilliwack faces several weapons charges, along with possession of stolen property, and has been since released from custody pending a promise to appear in court in March.

The charges stemmed from initial reports to police about a man and woman who were overheard yelling from a Mary Street apartment in the 9000-block in the early hours of Feb. 4.

The incident was called in around midnight and carried on into the morning, until about 7 a.m. in the area around the hospital, according to RCMP reports.

“General Duty officers quickly arrived at the address where they were met at the apartment door by a victim who told police the suspect was inside of the unit with a hand gun,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail. “The victim was instantly ushered to safety by police as the officers cordoned the hallway outside of the apartment.

Local RCMP were joined by Emergency Response Team members, and the complex was evacuated while officers tried to convince the guy to give himself up. He eventually surrendered and was taken into custody.

Sutherland is facing Criminal Code charges for possession of firearm contrary to order, two counts of possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose, two counts of possessing a firearm without being the holder of a licence, and possession of stolen property under $5000.

The firearm was seized by police.

“As the standoff progressed into the morning police stopped traffic,” said Cpl. Rail. This was in anticipation of early morning commuters.

“Our priority is the safety of the public,” he said. “Fortunately no one was hurt in this incident.”