Update (Friday, Feb. 10, 2023 at 4:25 p.m.):
There is no risk to public safety and the situation prompting an emergency alert to many of those in eastern Ontario has now been resolved, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
Earlier in the day, those in the Carleton Place, Lanark County, and Sharbot Lake areas were directed to shelter in place, as police were seeking two suspects believed to be armed with firearms. Now, police say, there was never a firearm involved.
“Police received a report on the morning of February 10, 2023, of two individuals, armed with a handgun near the Beckwith Township Arena on the 9th Line of Beckwith,” the OPP said in a press release at approximately 4:15 p.m.
“Out of an abundance of caution and concern for public safety, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued warnings on social media, and an Alert Ready message was issued.”
The OPP relayed that the incident stemmed from a stolen vehicle fleeing from OPP officers, which was later stopped in the Smiths Falls area.
“An extensive search of the area was immediately launched, involving OPP Aviation, Tactics and Rescue Unit, Emergency Response Team, Canine and officers with the Lanark Detachment,” the OPP said.
“The ongoing investigation has determined that there was actually no firearm involved.”
According to police, Dale Lewis Scott, 26, of Drummond-North Elmsley Township was arrested as a result of the investigation. Scott was charge with:
- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
- Flight from peace officer
- Operation of a motor vehicle while prohibited
- Possession of stolen property obtained by crime
Scott has been remanded into custody, the OPP said.
Meanwhile, the other two suspects police had alerted the public of are no longer wanted by police.
“We are no longer looking for the two individuals in connection to today’s incident,” said Acting Sgt. Erin Cranton, Media Relations Officer for the East Region OPP. It is unclear why those two people were considered wanted by police in the first place, however, the OPP assured Kingstonist there is no risk to public safety at this time. All hold and secure operations at schools and businesses have been lifted.
Those in the Sharbot Lake area are being asked to stay indoors, lock all doors and windows, and contact police regarding any suspicious persons in their area.
The notice comes in tandem with an alert through the provincial emergency alert system just after 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, which warned those in both the Lanark County and Sharbot Lake areas to shelter in place.
“Lock all doors and windows. Notify police of any suspicious person. If suspect seen, do not approach, call 911,” the alert message read.
Shortly thereafter, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a description for two suspects, identified as 33-year-old Lucas Young and 30-year-old Chase Lahaise.
- Young is described by police as a Caucasian male, 168 cm (approx. 5’6”) tall, weighing 72 kg (158 lbs) with blue eyes and short brown hair.
- Lahaise is described by police as a Caucasian male, 191 cm (approx. 6’3″) tall, weighing 79 kg (174 lbs), with blue eyes and short brown hair.
As of 12:40 p.m., OPP released an update stating that residents in the area of the 9th Line of Beckwith Twp. near the Beckwith Recreation Centre no longer need to shelter in place.
“Investigators believe the individual has left the area. The search continues and will include the Sharbot Lake area,” police said.
The Limestone District School Board (LDSB) also issued a statement on social media, noting that LDSB schools in Lanark County and Sharbot Lake areas are “in a Hold and Secure as of police request. Please do not try to come to the schools as we are following police direction.”
Kingstonist will continue to follow this story and provide updates if/when possible.