Merritt RCMP engaged in a late-night standoff at a residence on Bann St. on May 27 which resulted in the arrest of five people.

“On Wednesday afternoon we received reports that a local couple was responsible for multiple assaults, including one with a firearm,” reported Sgt. Josh Roda of Merritt RCMP.

“Through investigation we were able to obtain grounds for a search warrant, which ultimately was executed at a residence on Bann Street.”

Because the takedown was considered high risk and the suspect has a long history of serious criminal activity the decision was made to call in additional resources for assistance.

“Due to the seriousness of the allegations and risk to the public and police we utilized the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team and Explosives Disposal Unit to assist with executing the warrant,” continued Roda.

“Later that same evening the ERT team gained entry into a residence on Bann St. The warrant execution was successful, during that entry five people were arrested in the residence. The subsequent search of the residence produced replica handguns, a shot gun with a homemade silencer, a large amount of ammunition and an amount of narcotics. Tyler James Collins of Merritt has been charged with multiple counts, including Assault with a Weapon and Possessing a Prohibited Firearm. He is in custody and scheduled for a Bail Hearing on June 19, 2020.”

Kristen Lupton, a resident of Armstrong Street, said she witnessed police assemble prior to their convergence on the Bann St. residence.

“There were about four unmarked police trucks, the 6×6 armoured vehicle, the big armoured hauler box truck and two others all lined up across from my house at one point,” Lupton said.

“It was really impressive, and definitely a sign something big was about to go down.”

Lupton said she shortly after received an unofficial warning from a friend in the fire department, who advised her to turn off her lights, close her curtains and keep away from the windows.

“We heard a big bang, like a gunshot about five minutes after that,” Lupton reported.

At that point, Lupton and her family moved into their basement to wait until the police had cleared the area.

“It was a wee bit scary at that point too, especially with the chopper circling the area. We had police vehicles moving up and down our street until shortly after midnight. Pretty crazy in a small place like Merritt, but I’m happy they take things like this seriously.”