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Charges laid in Manitoulin case that prompted safety alert

Wikwemikong Tribal Police
Wikwemikong Tribal Police

Wikwemikong Tribal Police have laid charges in connection to the search for an armed and dangerous person in the community on Sept. 27 which saw a public safety alert being sent to cell phones across the region.

As a result of the investigation, a person from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory has been charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a weapon and spousal assault.

The investigation is continuing, said the tribal police service. There were no injuries as a result of this investigation and there is no longer a threat to public safety.

The accused was released by way of undertaking and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Wikwemikong at a later date.

The identity of the accused is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim.

If you have any information regarding this incident, you are asked to contact the Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service.

The situation came to a peaceful end on Sept. 28, more than 24 hours after the initial emergency alert was sent to several communities in Northern Ontario. 

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory's Ogimaa Kwe, Rachel Manitowabi, released a statement at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 that Tribal Police had notified her that a shelter in place order had been lifted after the man at the centre of the investigation turned himself into Wikwemikong Tribal Police shortly after 2 p.m.

"We want to advise the community that the current situation has come to a peaceful end," the statement read. "We are very fortunate that no one was harmed. A community member who was at the centre of the search has turned himself in to the authorities safely and peacefully. The ‘shelter in place’ has been lifted."

When the original alert came through, residents were advised to lock all doors and windows, and notify police of any suspicious people. 

Schoolchildren in the community remained sheltered at school yesterday until 3 p.m. when the Wikwemikong Tribal Police felt it was safe for regular dismissal. Students spent Sept. 28 at home for a “Mental Health Day,” said Manitowabi, and remained with caregivers and loved ones “to begin the initial processing of the current situation and be provided comfort.”

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Jenny Lamothe

About the Author: Jenny Lamothe

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized.
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