Shots fired at OPP officers attempting to arrest Manitoba homicide suspect near Belleville, Ont.
Ontario Provincial Police say officers were fired at when they attempted to enter a residence just outside of Belleville, Ont., where they found Manitoba homicide suspect Eric Paul Wildman, who had been on the run for a week.
The officers arrested Wildman around 5:30 a.m. on Friday. In a video statement posted on Twitter, OPP say officers went to a house in Prince Edward County after receiving information from the community.
“Upon entering, they were met with gunfire coming from within the residence,” an unidentified OPP officer says in the video.
“The officers moved into a position of containment around the residence, and our OPP crisis negotiators were able to make contact with the two occupants inside the house.”
After lengthy negotiations, OPP arrested two men, including Wildman, who is currently being transported to Winnipeg. The other man is being questioned, OPP said.
No injuries were reported.
Eric Wildman, a suspect from @rcmpmb was taken into custody early this morning in #PrinceEdOPP.
Thank you to everyone involved, the assistance of the OPP crisis negotiators was crucial and helped facilitate a peaceful surrender. https://t.co/8pTSCBkp5j pic.twitter.com/lzLdr9gIbk
Manitoba RCMP will hold a news conference about the case in Winnipeg at 10:30 a.m. CT (11:30 a.m. ET).
Wildman is wanted in connnection the disappearance and presumed death of his neighbour, Clifford Joseph, 40, who was last seen June 7 leaving his home in the rural municipality of St. Clements, about 70 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
RCMP have been looking for Wildman, 34, since June 12. He was spotted on Wednesday in Manitoba not far from the Ontario border, heading east on Highway 44 in a rented grey 2020 Chevy Equinox, police said.
Wildman had been seen June 11 at a Lowe’s store on Panet Road in Winnipeg, police said. After leaving the store, he took a taxi to the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, where police say he rented the Equinox.
Police announced they considered Wildman a person of interest in the Joseph investigation on June 12, after they found Wildman’s abandoned vehicle in East Kildonan in Winnipeg. Inside, they located police tactical gear, guns, police patches and other items resembling police uniforms.
Police named Wildman as a homicide suspect on June 14.
Joseph’s body has not been found, but RCMP say they are convinced he is dead based on the evidence they’ve found. His 1997 Ford Ranger was found abandoned in a rural area of Manitoba off Road 44 East on the day he was last seen.
Earlier this week, police said they were still trying to determine what the relationship between Wildman and Joseph was.