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‘Less-lethal’ round used on man threatening to set Victoria building on fire: police

Man arrested after the hours-long barricading incident
A man barricading himself in a Fifth Street building on April 22 was arrested after Victoria police used several “less lethal” tools. (Black Press Media file photo)

A Victoria residential building was temporarily evacuated Friday morning due to an incident where police used chemical irritants to draw out a barricaded man who reportedly threatened to set the place on fire.

Just after 3 a.m., Victoria police received a report about a man near Hillside Avenue and Quadra Street breaching court-ordered conditions that barred him from certain areas.

The man was found alone in a unit, in the 2800-block of Fifth Street, and police said he had a knife as he barricaded himself inside the suite.

The Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) and other emergency crews responded. Crisis negotiators tried to get the man to surrender himself for several hours, VicPD said.

Police say the man indicated he possessed gasoline and threatened to set the building on fire. In response, GVERT officers used noise devices and chemical irritants to draw the man out of the unit. Police said the man had a knife when he exited the unit and officers shot him with an “ARWEN less-lethal round.”

Those rounds are not exactly bullets, said VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko, and instead are plastic projectiles. They’re also sometimes called a “baton round.”

The man, who was pending trial for assault charges, was then arrested after being medically cleared on the scene, police said. He remains in VicPD cells.

Residents who had to evacuate the building have returned.

READ: Victoria police probe whether arson at home of Ukrainian pastor was a hate crime

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