Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 28, 2012 - 3:13 pm

RCMP quell yet another firearms incident in Cape Dorset

Police plan to improve firearms safety and storage

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Supt. Hilton Smee, officer in charge of criminal operations for 'V' Division, is shown here at a new conference at the Iqaluit RCMP Detachment Aug. 28. There, he talked about the recent boating related fatality in Cape Dorset, the most recent firearms incident in Arviat and a firearms related incident that occurred Aug. 27 in Cape Dorset. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)
Supt. Hilton Smee, officer in charge of criminal operations for 'V' Division, is shown here at a new conference at the Iqaluit RCMP Detachment Aug. 28. There, he talked about the recent boating related fatality in Cape Dorset, the most recent firearms incident in Arviat and a firearms related incident that occurred Aug. 27 in Cape Dorset. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)

Police have arrested a man in Cape Dorset after receiving a complaint of an argument between a man and a woman at about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 27, Supt. Hilton Smee said Aug. 28 at a news conference.

There was concern that the highly intoxicated man could have harmed himself, Smee said.

The man was armed with a rifle at the time of the incident, which involved a fight between him and his girlfriend.

Four rifles and ammunition were seized from the location of the complaint. Police found the man at another residence, where he was arrested without incident.

Iola Toonoo, 30, has been charged with unsafe handling and use of a firearm.

Toonoo will be released on an undertaking for a schedule court appearance in Cape Dorset Nov. 5.

With firearm incidents becoming more frequent in Nunavut, it was fortunate that Cape Dorset had three RCMP members in the community when the incident happened, Smee said.

“The availability of adequate back-up enhanced their ability to respond to this situation safely,” he said.

Also Aug. 27, RCMP received calls of a rifle being fired into the air at a local residence in Arviat where Peter Alatsiak, 24, has been charged with careless use of a firearm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Alatsiak is still in custody pending a show cause hearing Aug 28.

Smee said that due to the increase in firearm-related incidents the RCMP will continue with trying to improve firearms safety and storage.

In Cape Dorset, RCMP members went door to door to hand out trigger locks and give out firearm safety information, Smee said.

Similar activities will be rolled out in other communities in the near future, he said.

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