Update 2:15 p.m.: Suspect in police shooting and murder in custody in Revelstoke. Click here for the story.
UPDATE 11:20 a.m. Wednesday: RCMP have confirmed a suspect in the officer shooting case has been located. No further details have been provided yet.
The search continues in Revelstoke on Wednesday for a man wanted in connection with the shooting of an RCMP officer near Golden on Tuesday, and who police say is a suspect in a murder in Saskatchewan.
RCMP said on Wednesday morning they were looking for Sheldon Kyle Thunderblanket, who is considered armed and dangerous. A warrant is out for his arrest in connection with a murder in Little Pine First Nation, Saskatchewan, on Monday night.
He is described as an aboriginal male, about 5’6″ tall, 209 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone that sees him is asked to contact police by dialing 911 immediately.
The search was focused on Revelstoke’s Johnson Heights neighbourhood, near where the man’s vehicle was found.
The massive search was launched after a police officer was shot while conducting a police stop about 25 kilometres west of Golden on Tuesday afternoon. The officer experienced non-life-threatening injuries and the suspect fled westbound in another stolen vehicle.
The officer is recovering in hospital.
Police said they found the suspect’s vehicle about three kilometres east of Revelstoke. They launched a major search with helicopters, dogs and tactical teams but by nightfall the man was still at large. As of this morning, there was no news on the search.
The Trans-Canada Highway was closed following the incident and people were stopped for more than four hours until it was re-opened. Even then, travellers had to wait for hours while police searched every vehicle while they passed check stops set up on the highway.
Photo: People wait to leave Revelstoke via Townley Street while RCMP search for a suspect in a murder and police shooting in Johnson Heights.
In Revelstoke, people were not allowed to leave the city. For residents of Johnson Heights, located just east of the town, this meant not being able to return home until after 11 p.m., when police started to escort people home.
People in Johnson Heights were told to lock their doors and stay inside.
The neighbourhood has re-opened this morning, but cars are being checked as they leave the area and only residents are being allowed into the subdivision.
Johnson Heights residents say the neighbourhood has quieted down this morning after a frantic evening on Tuesday when police in camouflage uniforms were out with dogs searching the woods around the subdivision and a helicopter was circling overhead.
“It makes people nervous, especially in Johnson Heights. People aren’t able to get to their homes, but there’s also people here with families who have dead-bolted their doors, which people never do up here,” said Christine Christensen. “In Johnson Heights it is so quiet because we’re so far from town. You know your neighbours, you know who’s across the street from you, but there’s so much backcountry behind us that you don’t know who can walk in your backyard in five seconds.”
A bulletin issued by the City of Revelstoke on Wednesday morning says the search has shifted to the Greely area, which is located about 10 kilometres east of town, however the Review has been unable to confirm that with the RCMP and two residents of that rural area say they haven’t seen any police action.
“We just kind of heard rumours,” said Hilton Booker. “I’m quite critical of the fact that no one’s came out door-to-door to tell us what’s going on.”
Revelstoke schools are open today, said school district superintendent Mike Hooker.
The Trans-Canada Highway is open but is down to single-lane alternating traffic six kilometres east of Revelstoke and 26 kilometres west of Golden, reports DriveBC.