Man carrying long gun forces lockdown at New West hospital

Police are looking for a suspect who triggered a lockdown at a New Westminster hospital Tuesday after he was seen carrying a long gun.

Officers were first dispatched to the area of Royal Columbian Hospital at around 10:20 p.m. after they received reports from the nearby Sapperton Station about a man with a rifle. Investigators say they also received information that the man was trying to sell the firearm.

In a statement released Wednesday, the New Westminster Police Department confirmed the suspect had entered the hospital near the underground parking garage.

The incident prompted a large police response which included Transit Police and Mounties from Coquitlam and Surrey.

Royal Columbian was placed on lockdown and authorities set up a containment area around the scene.

“An extensive search of the hospital and surrounding parking garages was conducted to ensure the safety of staff and patients, however the male was not located,” the release read. “CCTV footage has been obtained for closer analysis.”

Now, police are asking anyone with information that could help them locate the man to come forward.

“Our investigation into this incident continues,” Sgt. Jeff Scott said. “It’s with good reason that the safe transportation of firearms is a matter we take very seriously.”

Investigators working on the case can be reached at 604-525-5411.

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