Quebec provincial police have arrested a suspect at the origin of a shelter in place for a small municipality on the Gaspé Peninsula.
In an alert sent to cellphones on Friday afternoon, authorities told residents of Quebec’s St-Elzéar-de Bonaventure area in eastern Quebec to take shelter indoors, lock their doors and stay away from windows while they searched for a man considered armed and dangerous.
The Sûreté du Québec said the wanted man was in crisis and was spotted near the corner of Chemin Central and Route de l’Est.
They had been looking for him since 2:30 a.m. in the community about 640 kilometers northeast of Quebec. The suspect was not named on Twitter, although the SQ posted a photo.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that the man was armed.
The SQ tweeted late Friday evening that the suspect had been taken into custody and was being questioned by investigators. Police confirmed that the imminent threat had ended and the alert was cancelled.
Controversy over who received the alert
As people across southern Quebec received the emergency alert on their phones, the SQ later clarified on Twitter that the emergency is specific to Saint-Elzéar-de-Bonaventure in Gaspésie.
However, some in the Gaspé said they had not received an alert.
The emergency alert was issued by Quebec Alert Ready and ordered by the Ministry of Public Security. Quebec Alert Ready says the alert was sent to the entire province at 3:24 p.m. Friday with the severity level set to “extreme.”
“We are aware that the alert triggered in the Saint-Elzéar-de-Bonaventure sector, in Gaspésie, was heard throughout the province,” said the SQ on Twitter, less than two hours after the first alert.
“We are also aware of the inconvenience this may have caused to some. Investigations are underway to determine what caused this issue.”
The alert remained in effect for residents of the Saint-Elzéar-de-Bonaventure area until approximately 9:45 p.m. Saint-Elzéar-de-Bonaventure has a population of approximately 2,600.