RCMP seen responding to a man who barricaded himself in a Walmart in Richmond on Feb. 19, 2020. (Screenshot of YouTube video)

VIDEO: Man charged after allegedly wielding two meat cleavers in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

A 31-year-old man is facing a number of weapons charges after allegedly barricading himself inside a Walmart in Richmond with two meat cleavers in hand.

Officers were called to the Walmart Richmond North Supercentre shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday to reports of an armed and distraught man, Richmond RCMP said in an update Wednesday afternoon.

There, a man was found in distress and brandishing two meat cleavers. Video taken by several different witnesses show the man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the seafood counter within the department store.

Other video shows at least 10 officers surrounding the aisles near the section of the store.

RCMP evacuated a portion of the store and closed nearby roads as officers, including a crisis negotiator, worked to apprehend the man.

After a prolonged stalemate, the man surrendered to police and was taken into custody around 5:30 p.m., RCMP said. No injuries were reported.

John Bennett Lam, 31, has been charged with two weapons charges and one count of causing a disturbance.

RCMP said Lam is known to police.

In a statement, Cpl. Dennis Hwang said that although officers are trained to response to various incidents, “this situation was unique and highly dangerous.”

Hwang also urged that people leave dangerous areas immediately when directed by police.

“We cannot stress this point enough,” he said. “We are putting ourselves in harm’s way to safeguard you. Don’t linger and become a potential victim or casualty.

“Lacking the foresight by staying in a dangerous area or hot zone out of sheer curiosity, or for sake of capturing a video, this is not acceptable in any way, shape, or form,”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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