The Nova Scotia RCMP say they have thwarted an alleged plot to kill many people in a public place in Halifax on Valentine’s Day. During a press conference, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan released details to the media.
“The evidence to date and the information is, had they been able to carry out their plan there was potential for a large number of individual citizens to be put at risk.”
He went on to say that the suspects, a 19-year-old man from Timberlea, N.S., and a 23-year-old woman from Illinois, planned to visit a public venue in Halifax on Valentine’s Day, “with a goal of opening fire to kill citizens, and then themselves.”
Police tracked down the man after acting on a tip they received from a member of the public in a Timberlea residence, where he was found dead on Friday morning. Police arrested the female suspect and a 20-year-old male who was accompanying her, also believed to be involved in the plot, around 2 a.m. Friday “without incident” at the Halifax International Airport as the woman arrived.
In addition, a 17-year-old male resident of Cole Harbour was also arrested in connection with the alleged plot hours later. All three suspects are in police custody as the investigation continues.
At the press conference, Brennan stated that they did not believe that the murder plot is terror-related.
“I wouldn’t characterize it as a terrorist event. I would classify it as a group of individuals that had some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens.”
Brennan went on to say that they were sure that all suspects were apprehended, and they are not seeking any further suspects at this time in relation to the investigation. While he didn’t specify the beliefs of those involved, Brennan stated that the actions of them “were not culturally based.”
Finally, Brennan reminded the public to “remain vigilant” about the things they may see or hear either physically or online and asked that the public “not hesitate to report anything to the police.”
The Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the death of the 20-year-old male suspect in Timberlea.