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Serious assault investigation on Ford Street

For an update on the charges laid against the suspect in this case, click here.

Ford Street, in Kingston’s north end, remains closed for much of Wednesday afternoon as Kingston Police respond to an early morning violent incident.

“Kingston Police Emergency Response Unit is on scene at Ford Street as part of a serious assault investigation. Police have contained a suspect at this location and are in the process of negotiating his safe and peaceful surrender,” said Const. Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police.

Police were initially called to the scene shortly before 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020 for a reported stabbing. According to area residents, at least three people were taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment of injuries of varying degrees. According to neighbour Graham Parker, some residents are being asked to remain inside their homes, while others are not being permitted to enter if they had previously left.

The assailant was barricaded inside an apartment building on Ford St. Other residents of the apartment building had been evacuated. Some watched the police operation from the lawn across the street, still in their pajamas as the operation began in the early hours of the morning. Police were heard explaining to residents that they would not be able to regain access to their homes to retrieve any personal belongings or clothing until at Wednesday night at the earliest.

Neighbours congregated on the street at the intersection of Ford and Drennan watched as police approached the building one or two at a time over several hours. Two officers were seen in full protective gear, accompanied by a police dog, firing tear gas canisters into the home every few minutes in an attempt to flush the perpetrator out onto the street. Several other officers formed a perimeter around the front of the property, with multiple police vehicles parked down the block.

Sounds of windows breaking on both floors of the building, loud bangs and tear gas canisters erupting could be heard from the street, as well as the yells of the perpetrator from within the house. At one point, police brought a ladder up to a broken window, and sounds of spraying into the building could be heard, followed by yells and defiant shouts from the man inside the building.

He could be heard yelling “No!” loudly in response to police requests several times, as well as coughing, retching and screaming.

Kingston Fire and Rescue was also called to the scene after reports a propane tank had been broken inside the building. Throughout the afternoon, at least two victims who had been released from hospital returned to the scene. Police also retrieved at least two dogs from inside the building, returning them to their owners waiting outside — some of them victims who’d returned from hospital. According to those on the scene, the dogs were still inside the building while police deployed flash-bangs in an attempt to pressure the suspect out of the building. One of the victims suffered a superficial chest wound and a wound to his arm, another suffered a cut to his face and neck.

Shortly after 3 p.m., members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) arrived on scene for assistance.

At approximately 4 p.m., Kingston Police released the following information.

“Kingston Police is continuing their investigation of a serious incident that occurred on Ford Street earlier this morning. Kingston Police remain at the scene negotiating with the barricaded male suspect who was involved in an incident where a weapon was utilized. The Kingston Police Emergency Response Unit and Incident Command Team were deployed and have been at the scene since this morning.

“As per best practices, with our goal being to deescalate the incident, Kingston Police has called upon our partners in the Ontario Provincial Police to assist in bringing this incident to a peaceful resolution.”

Gutheinz relayed that, due to the ongoing investigation, he could only confirm that individuals were injured as a result of this incident and were transported to Kingston General Hospital, however he could not speak to the severity of the injuries other than to say that they were non-life threatening in nature.

At approximately 4:20 p.m., the OPP Tactical Unit moved in on the address. By 4:45 p.m., the suspect was removed from the building and loaded into an ambulance. He was then transported to hospital by Frontenac Paramedic Services. The situation appears to be resolved.

“After extensive negotiations and communications, spanning the majority of today, Kingston Police have arrested the barricaded male suspect on Ford Street and taken him into custody,” Gutheinz said at 4:50 p.m., over 12 hours after the standoff began.

Kingstonist will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

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