N.S. police say they've foiled attempt to kill people in a public place
Published Friday, February 13, 2015 6:38PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 13, 2015 10:49PM EST
RCMP in Nova Scotia say they have foiled an alleged plot to kill a large number of people in the Halifax area on Valentine’s Day.
"The evidence to date and the information is, had they been able to carry out their plan there was potential for a large number of individual citizens to be put at risk," Nova Scotia RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan told a Friday evening news conference.
Police allege a 19-year-old man from Timberlea, N.S., and a 23-year-old woman from Illinois planned to go to a public venue in the Halifax region on Saturday, “with a goal of opening fire to kill citizens, and then themselves.”
Acting on a tip from a member of the public about “a potential significant weapons-related threat,” police tracked down the male suspect at a Timberlea residence, where he was found dead in the early hours of Friday morning.
Around 2 a.m. Friday, police arrested the female suspect, along with a 20-year-old male who is believed to have been involved in the plot. They were arrested “without incident” at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
Brennan told CTV News Channel that the woman was arrested on her way into Halifax from the airport.
A 17-year-old male in Cole Harbour was also arrested in connection with the investigation several hours later.
All three suspects remain in police custody as the investigation continues.
At the news conference, Brennan said the alleged plot is not considered to be terror-related.
"I wouldn't characterize it as a terrorist event. I would classify it as a group of individuals that had some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens," he said.
Brennan declined to specify what those shared beliefs were.
In a news release, the RCMP said it has “eliminated the threat” and police are not seeking any other suspects at this time.
In a statement, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney commended the RCMP and local police on the arrests.
“These arrests are a great example of the fine work they do on a daily basis to help keep Canadians safe,” he said. “We support our law enforcement agencies who work tirelessly to ensure our communities are safe places to live, work and raise families.”