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Edmonton police spokesman Jeff Wuite said they received a report Wednesday of a man armed with a hunting rifle inside the Workers' Compensation Board building in downtown Edmonton in the western Canadian province of Alberta.
"We do believe there are hostages," Wuite said. "Our officers are speaking with the man and working very diligently to bring this to a peaceful conclusion."
Local radio station CHED reported people who left the building say as many as nine people are being held hostage inside.
A local radio station says man, armed with a high-powered hunting rifle, entered the Workers’ Compensation Board building. CHED says a shot was fired in the lobby, but no one was injured.
"I was just working and my coworker got a phone call saying a guy was in the building with a gun," said Faizal Ali, an electrical contractor who was working inside the building this morning. "I thought it was a joke."
Police are reported to be talking to the man on the phone, and he has asked for water and cigarettes in exchange for a hostage.
He is said to have made his way to a conference room on the upper floor of the eight-storey building.
The man is also said to be wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying a backpack.
Three city buses are packed nearby with people apparently being debriefed by police, who it's believed will soon be evacuating nearby buildings.
-With files from The Canadian Press
An armed man is holding hostages in the Workers' Compensation Board building in downtown Edmonton, police have confirmed. An employee who was evacuated from the third floor of the building told CBC News reporter Trish Estabrooks that as many as nine hostages were being held on the eighth floor. "At 8:42 this morning, we received a call that a man with a rifle had walked into the worker's compensation," said Edmonton police spokesman Jeff Wuite.
A local radio station is reporting that the man has a grudge against a doctor who works for the board and is "mad at the world." Jennifer Dagsvik, a WCB spokesperson who was not on site when the incident began, told The Canadian Press that employees who work in the building include case managers and claim adjudicators.
Originally posted by asala
Just to update,
It seems that one person believed to be a white male thought to be 1 of the hostages has been released,
There is no confirmation at this time on who this man may be and why he was allowed to leave.
The situation is still ongoing, After more than a few hours, Hopefully soon there will be some resolve.