Yellowknife

Man with axe apprehended at YK’s Sunridge apartments, says tenant

Last modified: March 25, 2020 at 2:30pm


Police say Tuesday’s disturbance at Yellowknife’s Sunridge Place involved an “armed and barricaded” man. One tenant described a man trying to chop down a door with an axe.

Donald Weston lives in the apartment building on the city’s 51A Avenue. He said yelling and swearing erupted on his floor at around 5pm on Tuesday.

Weston told Cabin Radio he looked outside his door to see what was going on, to find another occupant of the building “trying to axe the door in” of a nearby apartment. 

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“I could hear this yelling and shouting and profanity going on,” Weston described.

“I saw this guy chopping away at the door.” 

Weston called 911.

There was a heavy police presence around the apartment building on Tuesday night. At least eight RCMP vehicles, including an unmarked car, lined up along a blocked-off section of 51A Avenue at around 8pm. 

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Weston said he heard no noise from the apartment being attacked with the axe, but he believes the tenants were home. 

When asked if he was afraid, Weston said: “No, not really. I’ve been there, done that.” Weston says between 1963 and 1973, he was a soldier with the Australian Army. 

“I’ve had grenades going off around me,” he said. “They couldn’t kill me then.” 

An ‘isolated incident’

Weston said the man with the axe eventually relented and went upstairs to his own apartment. When police later arrived, the man – who has not been identified – would not come back out.

In a Wednesday afternoon news release, RCMP say they received “multiple complaints of a disturbance” and arrived to find “an armed and barricaded situation.”

“There was all sorts of commotion going on for about half an hour,” Weston said, including the barking of police dogs.

Around midnight, Weston said he heard “two loud explosions like a shotgun” and saw a “big flash” outside his window. He then heard sounds he described as “thumping, pushing, and scraping.”

RCMP confirmed diversion devices, which create loud bangs, were deployed around midnight.

Police said an adult male was taken into custody without incident and nobody was hurt.

“This was a single, isolated incident and the public was not believed to be at risk at the time,” an RCMP statement read.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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