WATCH: The two outstanding Sooke shooting suspects are in custody and facing attempted murder charges after an armed standoff that lasted several hours. Tess van Straaten reports.
The Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team rushed to Sooke on Sunday, after police received a tip the suspects in a shocking drive-by shooting were hiding out in the small community.
“We got a tip and we surrounded a home on Kirby Road,” says Sooke RCMP S/Sgt. Jeff McArthur. “The investigation led officers to believe the suspects were hiding inside so they locked the area down and called the emergency response team.”
Twenty-five-year-old Joshua LaFleur and 21-year-old Damien Medwedrich, both of Sooke, have been the subject of a massive, five-day manhunt after two men well-known to police were shot on Ella Road Tuesday night.
A third suspect, Dustin David Brown, was arrested and charged with attempted murder on Wednesday but the other suspects eluded police, until now.
“They were hiding in a crawl space in the home,” S/Sgt. McArthur says. “With the use of ERT and a police service dog, we were able to get them. One suspect sustained minor injuries, superficial injuries.”
Neighbours on the quiet street say they’re shocked the shooting suspects were arrested there.
They told CHEK News they heard police yell, ‘Joshua LaFleur we know you’re in there. Come out unless you want to be bitten by a dog.’
No one at the Kirby Road home would talk about what happened.
Neighbours say the owners are on holiday in the Yukon and their son, believed to be in his early 20’s, was at the home.
Neighbours say hours-long armed standoff in Sooke was terrifying
They say the heavy police presence — and hours long standoff — was terrifying.
“It was alarming enough that we went and I went and hid in our crawlspace,” said a neighbour who didn’t want to be identified. “Walls are thin and I’ve heard of bullets going through walls before so we were quite scared.”
For Sooke’s mayor, having the suspects in custody is a huge relief.
“I think the community is very proud of our local police detachment,” Maja Tait says. “I think everyone here is relieved that those involved are where they should be.”
“I think it’s a huge relief for the residents of Sooke to have this part of the investigation over and done with,” adds S/Sgt. McArthur.
Police say LaFleur, who’s been on the Crime Stoppers Most Wanted list since 2014, has numerous outstanding warrants.
RCMP say they couldn’t have made the arrests without the help of the public.