News Canada

Peterborough Walmart standoff comes to fatal end

QMI Agency

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. - A four-hour police standoff in a Walmart parking lot came to a bloody end Saturday night with one man dead inside a vehicle.

A 58-year-old man is dead and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ontario’s police watchdog group, has been called in to investigate.

When a gunshot was heard at 8 p.m., city police officers and paramedics approached the vehicle and found the man dead, the SIU said.

People on the scene report the man died from a a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

An autopsy is planned for Monday morning in Toronto.

More than 300 shoppers and staff were allowed to leave a Peterborough Walmart, the city'sgest department store, at about 8 p.m. Saturday after the store had been under a lockdown since 5:30 p.m.

The area was blocked off by police and people inside Walmart were moved to the back of the store.

 

One couple coming out of the store after police ended the lockdown Saturday night said they had already paid for their items, and the receipt showed that happening at 5:24 p.m. They weren't able to leave, though, and spent the next three hours in the store under police watch.

"There's no information being circulated around, which I understand, but at the same time, there's pregnant women and kids screaming and crying," said Ron, who gave only his first name.

"Some people need to eat. I heard several people complain about being diabetic and whatnot. It was totally chaotic."

In a letter to QMI Agency, shopper Jennifer Wilson thanks Walmart staff for taking care of those trapped inside. During the lockdown, Walmart opened its shelves to stranded shoppers. Baby formula and diapers, food and drinks were made available.

People were led out of the Walmart through a rear door and onto buses as police continued to deal with a crisis in the parking lot in front of the store.

A source at the scene says a shot may have been fired at the Walmart late Saturday afternoon, bringing the police emergency response team to the scene.

"From what we heard, it was a suicidal person sitting in their vehicle," a woman who didn't give her name said. "So people were stuck sitting in their cars. It was kind of nerve-wracking."

A source at the scene told QMI Agency she had heard what may have been a shot.

- with files from Clifford Skarstedt, Kennedy Gordon and Dale Clifford


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