Ottawa, ON (WNews) – Police in Ottawa says there are no other concerns for public safety following the arrest of an Ottawa man in a robbery investigation that temporarily shut down the Rideau Centre on Tuesday morning, just after it reopened.
Police said that the incident was not connected to the “Freedom Convoy.”
A 50-year-old man has been charged with two counts of robbery with an offensive weapon and one count of pointing a firearm at another person. There are also other charges pending against him, such as carrying a concealed weapon, using a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence, possessing a firearm while prohibited, and breaching probation
Police were summoned to the mall in response to a report that an armed man had been sighted around 12:15 p.m.
A man is suspected of entering a business inside the mall and stealing something, as well as brandishing a firearm when faced with a loss prevention officer, police reported.
According to police, the suspect fled on foot and was arrested shortly after. There were no injuries reported.
“The Ottawa Police Service would like to reassure the public that there are no further safety concerns related to this incident,” the force said in a release.
Several witnesses reported seeing officers with guns at the scene telling them to leave. They also reported hearing an announcement saying that they should evacuate the mall as soon as possible. As a result, OC Transpo has temporarily suspended service on O-Train Line 1 between Ottawa and Parliament, as well as closed Rideau Station.
Police said at about 3:30 p.m. EST Tuesday that the police operation was over but an investigation continued. Upon the conclusion of the police investigation, Cadillac Fairview, which owns the Rideau Centre, said the mall was reopened for the remainder of the day.
After closing Jan. 29 amid the first weekend of protests connected to the “Freedom Convoy”, the Rideau Centre reopened Tuesday morning.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call the robbery unit at (613) 236-1222 ext. 5116 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppers.ca.