It will likely be another 24 hours before investigators are able to examine the remains of a Kamloops home destroyed by fire after a deadly shooting-turned-standoff came to an explosive end last night (May 17).
“We still have what is believed to be a body inside,” Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said during a press conference this afternoon.
“We have to protect that area to keep it secure.
“Investigators won’t be able to get in to start any kind of investigation until tomorrow at the earliest.”
Learned said the rubble is still hot, and the conditions are unsafe for investigators.
Authorities are not releasing the name of the deceased suspect, who has been identified only as a 48-year-old electrician from Surrey.
Learned said investigators have not been able to even locate his body, let alone make any determinations about manner of death.
The incident began at about 5:20 p.m. yesterday, according to police, when the man — armed with a shotgun and carrying a box of explosives — entered the home of his ex-girlfriend, at 1486 Cannel Dr. in Dufferin.
The woman was inside with her current boyfriend and her four children. The ex fired a shot into the ceiling of the home and ordered everyone out except the woman.
He held her hostage for more than six hours, releasing her at midnight after a lengthy phone conversation with an RCMP negotiator.
The woman was unharmed.
At 12:09 a.m., a series of explosions could be heard from the area of the home, followed by an audible groaning sound.
Learned said those explosions occurred at the same time the RCMP negotiator “abruptly” lost contact with the gunman.
Flames could then be seen inside the home, beginning on the main floor but quickly spreading to the rest of the house. A short time later, another explosion rocked the neighbourhood.
The fire was under control by 1 a.m., but the home was destroyed.
Learned praised Kamloops Fire Rescue crews, who were forced to hold off battling the blaze for 30 minutes because of the potential of further explosions.
“The house was lost, and that’s unfortunate,” he said.
“But, houses can be replaced and lives can’t be.”
Check out KTW‘s gallery of photos from last night’s incident, and what’s left of the home this morning, by clicking here.