Thursday, February 22, 2024

Family in mourning after hours-long standoff leaves one deceased in London, Ont.

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A family is in mourning, two police officers are recovering from their injuries in hospital, and residents are reeling following a multi-hour standoff at a northeast London apartment building on Saturday.

On Saturday, the London Police Service (LPS) entered into a 12-hour-long negotiation with an armed man who had barricaded himself inside his sixth-floor apartment at 621 Kipps Lane.

During the course of the investigation and containment of the apartment, London police said late Sunday afternoon that two officers were injured during the standoff when the suspect allegedly discharged a firearm at police.

A short time later, the male suspect was taken into police custody without incident.

Earlier in the day, police had set up a wide perimeter and advised tenants they believed a person inside the building had a gun. A large section of Adelaide Street North was closed for half of the day, and residents were not allowed back into their homes until Saturday night.

London police are on scene of a “weapons investigation” at 621 Kipps Lane in London, Ont. on March 11, 2023. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)Several residents, including Dayman House, were inside the apartment building as the standoff came to a resolution.

“I heard the gun shots, I presume assume, they were gun shots,” recalled House. “I don’t know man it’s crazy, just crazy.”

“Last night all I heard was loud bangs. The police trying to negotiate with him over the phone and through the door,” added Wendy Mallow.

But the conclusion of the standoff is only a fraction of what happened at the Kipps Lane apartment building on Saturday.

16 hours earlier, the residents of the building felt their first shock and a family began mourning a sudden and tragic loss.

London, Ont. police can be seen inside the apartment building located at 621 Kipps Lane on March 11, 2023. (Jim Knight/CTV News London)At 5 a.m. that morning, emergency responders attended to the Kipps Lane apartment. On the eighth floor, near the elevators, they found a man clinging to life.

He died a short time later.

House, who lives on the eight floor, awoke to find officers in the hallway.

“Opened my apartment door, blood on the ground,” he said. “Police officers in the hallway. Thankfully I never got to see the body. It’s pretty crazy.”

The deceased has since been identified as Joel A. Cameron, 41, of London. On social media, multiple friends have expressed condolences to Cameron’s family.

One of them, Jocelyn Kiser, attended high school with Cameron. She told CTV News London he leaves behind a 20-year-old son and will be “dearly missed.”

Joel Cameron of London, Ont. is seen in this undated image. (Source: Jocelyn Kiser/Facebook)

As police continue to comb over the scene of Saturday’s event, many residents said there were ongoing concerns with a tenant in the same sixth floor unit police entered.

“We’ve been complaining for quite some time, and I think this could have been avoided in my opinion,” said Mallow.

But as tenants begin to come to grips with Saturday’s traumatic events, they turn their thoughts back to the family of Joel Cameron, and extend well wishes to the two officers who were injured.

“I feel sorry for all the officers, the two that got injured,” said Mallow. “They didn’t need to get hurt.” 

The suspect was scheduled to appear in London court on Sunday afternoon. 

As of late Sunday afternoon, a suspect remains in custody in relation to Saturday’s standoff. The status of the officers as well as pending charges will be addressed on Monday during a press conference with LPS Acting Chief Trish McIntyre.

— With files from CTV News London’s Brent Lale

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