UPDATE - 9:20 p.m.: Police are evacuating homes in an area west of the village of Slocan where the suspect is believed to be located. The suspect is alleged to have fired at police with a rifle before retreating into the surrounding forest, said RCMP Const. Kris Clark.
SLOCAN CITY, B.C. - Mounties in southeastern B.C. say they are looking for a man believed to be armed with multiple firearms around the small community of Slocan.
RCMP say the incident was sparked over a dispute between two people just after noon on Thursday.
"While on the scene, a male suspect allegedly fired upon police with a long rifle before retreating into the surrounding forest," an RCMP news release stated.
RCMP Const. Kris Clark said police believed the suspect was still in the forest Thursday night.
Additional police resources, including a helicopter and the Southeastern District Emergency Response Team have been deployed to the area.
"As this is an unfolding event with an alleged armed suspect, we are asking that the movements and locations of responding officers not be divulged through social media," Clark said. "To do so may jeopardize police and public safety."
No members of the public or RCMP officers have been injured, Clark said.
Immediately after the shooting, officers began warning area residents of the potential danger.
Jeff Jones, superintendent of School District 8, said all students and staff were evacuated from the school in Slocan City.
"The RCMP provided escort," said Jones. "Parents are picking their children up at a safe spot south of the village."
He said all students that were on buses are now with family or caregivers.
Village fire chief John Gates said police stopped him at about 2:30 p.m. Pacific time while he was on his way to pick up his car from the mechanic's.
"A constable came out and stopped us and told us to turn around and go back home," he said.
Gates said police cars are blocking local streets to the south, north and east.
Ben Mittellsteadt, a spokesman for the B.C. Ambulance Service in Victoria, said crews have been put on standby for what appears to be a standoff involving RCMP.