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Three suspects in custody following shooting in Espanola

·4 min read

Three suspects are in custody following a shooting in Espanola on Thursday, according to provincial police.

In a release, Manitoulin OPP said officers were called about 10:20 a.m. to a home on Albert Street in Espanola.

"A person suffered a gunshot wound and has been transported to a nearby hospital (Health Sciences North in Sudbury) with serious life-threatening injuries. The three suspects believed to be involved in this incident then fled the area in a vehicle via Highway 17."

The suspects allegedly fled the scene in a taxi en route to Sudbury, according to a witness.

"OPP immediately engaged the assistance of Greater Sudbury Police Service who deployed their tactical unit to assist," the OPP said. "A short time later, the (Greater Sudbury Police) Tactical Unit arrested three individuals believed to be involved in the shooting while they were traveling in Lively."

Greater Sudbury Police tweeted that its Emergency Response Unit worked with members of the Integrated Crime Team to conduct a high-risk vehicle stop on Adam Street in Lively at around 11:20 a.m.

Police confirmed that the vehicle stop was in connection to the incident that occurred in Espanola, and the individuals were taken into custody.

A neighbour near the shooting told The Sudbury Star that an individual had been shot in the shoulder at a nearby “drug house.”

Manitoulin OPP and the Anishinabek Police Service were on scene investigating on Thursday. Witnesses reported seeing K9 and Tactical units in the area.

Both the OPP and Greater Sudbury Police issued statements saying there is no threat to public safety at this time, and members of the Manitoulin OPP detachment have assumed responsibility for the investigation.

Members of the OPP's Manitoulin Detachment Crime Unit, under the direction of the OPP's Criminal Investigation Branch, are involved.

Assisting is an OPP Critical Incident Commander, an OPP Community Street Crime Unit, an OPP Canine Unit and OPP Forensic Identification Services.

Further information will be released as it becomes available, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or your nearest police authority.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or visit www.p3tips.com where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

In an earlier report, The Sudbury Star said that Espanola schools were sent into lockdown as a result of the shooting.

The OPP later clarified the school lockdown was not in any way connected to the incident on Albert Street.

“Manitoulin OPP were called to a school on Spruce Street regarding alleged threats made via social media. A school lockdown was called, and police later located the student,” said the OPP in a tweet.

“School protocol was followed, and a lockdown ensued. Police located the student a short time later. After investigation, it was determined the comments were made via social media and there was no threat to public safety,” police said in a release.

OPP Const. Phil Young said no one was taken into custody as a result of this incident.

The nature of the threats made on social media is currently unknown.

School officials also confirmed the incident.

“Espanola High School and A.B. Ellis Public School went into hold and secure just after 10:30 am today when the local police advised the schools to do so,” said Nicole Charette, spokesperson for the Rainbow District School Board.

“The hold and secure was lifted at 12:10 pm when the police confirmed that it was safe to do so. In a hold and secure, students remain in the school as teaching and learning continues.”

Officials with the town's French-language school took similar steps.

"We can confirm that our school in Espanola also proceeded to a hold and secure as instructed by the OPP," Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon said in a statement. "Students and staff at École catholique La Renaissance are safe and sound.

"We have communicated with parents asking them to inform the school if their child was made nervous by this incident and could benefit from some support."

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @SudburyStar

Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star