Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit September 12, 2012 - 2:08 pm

Volatile hostage-taking incident in Iqaluit ends peacefully: RCMP

“It isn’t everyday that we get to speak of an incident that ended well”

DAVID MURPHY
RCMP Supt. Hilton Smee speaks to reporters Sept. 12 about a hostage-taking incident in Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)
RCMP Supt. Hilton Smee speaks to reporters Sept. 12 about a hostage-taking incident in Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

Iqaluit RCMP diffused a “highly dangerous” hostage situation during the early morning hours of Sept. 12 in which a man held knives against his girlfriend’s throat.

Two officers responding to a possible domestic assault in the 2200 block of Iqaluit walked into a home at 1:30 a.m. where they saw a man holding “several” knives to his girlfriend’s throat, the RCMP said.

The man was threatening to kill the woman, and screaming that he wanted police officers to kill him too.

After briefly trying to negotiate with the man and drawing their pistols, the police officers realized the knives in the man’s hands were butter knives, and not as lethal as they originally thought.

Using physical force and hand strikes, the officers managed to take the man down in what police described as an “intense” scuffle.

The man was taken to hospital later that morning for injuries he sustained in the struggle.

Both man and the woman were “heavily” intoxicated at the time, said RCMP Supt. Hilton Smee at a Sept. 12 news conference.

The woman was not hurt during the incident, and the RCMP have provided her with assistance through social services. 

“It isn’t everyday that we get to speak of an incident that ended well,” Smee told reporters. “We are very pleased to be able to do that today.”

Smee praised the two officers, saying “decisions have to be made in split seconds, and both officers involved should be highly commended for this peaceful resolution. Both showed amazing restraint and extreme professionalism.”

The man is being held in RCMP cells and was slated to appear at the Nunavut Court of Justice later in the day. Smee also said the RCMP plans to ensure the man receives psychological treatment.

Police would not say how long it took to quell the hostage situation, because the incident is still under investigation.

Adamee Mitsima, 31, faces a number of charges in connection with this incident, including hostage taking, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, uttering death threats to cause death, resisting a police officer and failing to comply with an undertaking.

The Ottawa Police Service and RCMP members from the Northwest Territories’ “G” Division are still investigating the fatal March 20 shooting of a man by an RCMP member in Igloolik and the April 27 RCMP shooting in Arviat of a 26-year-old man armed with a handgun stolen April 10 from the Arviat detachment.

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