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UPDATED: Man in custody after shots fired at Trail hospital

Trail RCMP say a man accused of firing shots from a handgun at police officers and paramedics outside the local ambulance station is in custody.

Sgt. Mike Wicentowich says police were called at about 10 to midnight on Tuesday to a report of a man from Quebec “behaving erratically” and trying to enter the ambulance station at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.

Officers found the man, who had no previous history with them, standing just outside the station.

“As the officers engaged in verbal de-escalation with the man, he allegedly fired several rounds from a handgun at the two officers and three nearby paramedics,” Wicentowich said.

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Wicentowich could not say exactly how many shots were fired nor disclose the exact make of the weapon, but said police did not return gunfire. Instead, they used a taser to subdue the man and took him into custody without further incident.

Wicentowich says they are investigating with help from other RCMP units.

Francis Paradis, 29, has been remanded on five firearms charges, including assaulting a police officer with a weapon, and will appear by video in Rossland court on Nov. 2 for a bail hearing.

RCMP say they will recommend additional charges including attempted murder.

“I am thankful that no one was hurt or killed in this incident,” Wicentowich said. “I would like to commend the bravery of the officers and paramedics who risk their lives and safety in the line of duty during a potentially deadly situation.”

“While no staff or patients were physically injured, this is a serious matter and we are ensuring anyone impacted receives follow-up and support,” said Ruth Kohut, director of clinical operations at the hospital.

Leanne Heppell, the chief ambulance officer of BC Emergency Health Services, said they were grateful their paramedics were not physically harmed.

“However, we know this was a tense, distressing situation. The paramedics who were at the station are being offered mental health support.

“We are immensely proud of the role our paramedics play in providing patient care, sometimes in very challenging situations, and our thoughts are with our employees as they recover from this event.”

Heppell says in any major incident that could affect the health and safety of their employees, they conduct an internal review.

CORRECTION: Police originally said the suspect was 39.

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