Three men were arrested Wednesday after a standoff with police that ended with a series of explosions and one of the suspects jumping from a window of a house on Ebb and Flow First Nation, according to Manitoba RCMP.
The Mounties say they got a call around 7:35 a.m. that day with a report a 38-year-old man — who had warrants out for his arrest for firearms offences — was seen driving in the western Manitoba community.
Officers were told the man was seen at a home on North West Road in the community. When they arrived, the 38-year-old and two other men were seen running into the home, RCMP said in a news release Friday.
A pickup truck that had earlier been reported stolen in Winnipeg, about 185 kilometres to the southeast, was parked in front of the home, RCMP said.
While officers were setting up a perimeter around the house, they got information that identified the two other men inside, both of whom were also wanted for firearms offences.
Mounties say they contained the area around the home and over several hours made intermittent contact with the men inside, who refused to surrender.
Officers didn’t know if the men were armed until they heard a gun being loaded inside the house and asked the men to surrender it through a window, which they did within a few minutes.
As officers negotiated with the men, they heard loud bangs that led them to believe the home was being barricaded, the release said.
Within a few minutes, there was an explosion inside the house that sent flames and smoke through the doors and windows. One of the men, a 37-year-old, then jumped from a bedroom window and was arrested.
A large group of people that had formed in the area then began to throw rocks at the officers and their vehicles, damaging two windows, RCMP say. Spokesperson Sgt. Paul Manaigre said the crowd demanded police go into the house and save the men from the fire.
The first explosion was soon followed by several more, Mounties said. The other two men inside — the 38-year-old who initially drew police to the house and a 27-year-old — also came out, as the fire spread through the house.
Once the fire department and emergency medical services arrived, the fire was extinguished and the three men, all of whom are from Ebb and Flow First Nation, were taken to hospital. They were treated and released back into police custody.
Two other guns were later found inside the house, Manaigre said. The whole incident lasted between four and five hours, he said.
All three men were charged with offences including arson, possessing a weapon while prohibited, possessing a prohibited weapon, use of explosives and pointing a firearm, the RCMP’s news release said.
The men were remanded into custody with a court appearance scheduled for Friday in provincial court in Dauphin.