Photo: Castanet Staff
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says there were more casualties after the RCMP responded to reports of an active shooter Tuesday in the town of Faro, but there is no longer a security threat to the community.
Silver said in a statement that the RCMP took “decisive” action and arrested a suspect.
It was not immediately clear if anyone was dead. The Prime Minister’s Office and the RCMP could not be reached for comment.
“At this time, we know there are more victims. The RCMP is actively investigating the incident to confirm further details,” he said.
“This is truly a tragic situation. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. We stand with the people of Faro in this extremely difficult time.”
Silver said a coordinated effort across authorities ensures critical support is provided to residents and emergency personnel.
He said the Department of Family and Children’s Services works with education officials to provide crisis response support to the school community, and that Victim Services and Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services provide counseling and immediate assistance.
Jack Bowers, the future mayor of Faro, said a call about shots fired came shortly after noon and Faro immediately went on lockdown. He said there had been “several injuries”.
“There was a 911 cell phone release that informed about the active shooting situation and for people to stay in their homes and lock their doors,” he said in an interview.
The blocking notice was lifted around 3 p.m., he said.
Mounties, however, warned residents in a press release to stay away from several streets in the community, adding that there was a significant first aider and police presence in the city.
“Since we are a remote community, the major crimes and all the forensics are coming from Vancouver, so it will be a few days before thorough details are released,” said Bowers, who had spoken to the RCMP.
Bowers was scheduled to be sworn in as mayor Tuesday afternoon when the news of the shooting came. A council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night was postponed until next week.
Leonard Faber, the outgoing mayor, said he had also spoken to the RCMP.
Faber expressed shock at what happened in the community, located about 360 miles along the road northeast of Whitehorse.
“It’s as if everyone involved in this is going to be affected in one way or another,” he said.
“It’s a very sad day. It’s going to affect a lot of people here, and it’s going to be a pretty solemn healing process. It’s going to take a while to get over this.”
Yukon’s poet laureate, pj johnson, said from Whitehorse that the Yukon is a close-knit community.
“People are very sad,” she added. “That kind of thing just does not happen here. The whole Yukon is basically one big neighborhood. You know pretty much everyone.”