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UPDATE: Annapolis RCMP shoot arson suspect, SiRT investigation underway

HILLSBURN, N.S. – A couple barely escaped their burning house and an arson suspect is in hospital after a fire and police shooting in a rural Nova Scotia community on the Bay of Fundy Monday morning.

A 55-year-old man was shot by Annapolis RCMP, Nova Scotia's Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) director Ron MacDonald confirmed July 4.

According to a media release from Nova Scotia RCMP,  a man is in hospital after officers fired their weapons when responding to a report at 1:15 a.m. of a man with a gun on Parker Mountain Road just east of Hillsburn, Annapolis County.

Police say the man is a suspect in the arson case an earlier nearby Shore Road West.

Police allege the man was driving a stolen vehicle when he approached police officers.

“The RCMP members took action resulting in the discharge of their firearms,” Corp. Jennifer Clarke said in a news release. “The male suspect was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment of what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.”

MacDonald said police shot at the vehicle and the suspect “was struck once in the upper body.”

A white pickup truck with what looked like bullet holes in the passenger-side door was parked on the lawn of a Shore Road property east of the fire at one of three scenes investigators had secured.

See a an interactive map of the scene here.

Clarke said Annapolis Royal Police Department officers were also at the scene.

“At this point there are Annapolis Royal Police Department members who may have evidence to offer,” MacDonald said of the SiRT response, but they are not being investigated.  

MacDonald said the investigation could take several months.  Clarke said the RCMP would release no further details.

Chief Malcolm Francis said Annapolis Royal firefighters were called to a motor home fire just before 12:30 a.m.  Francis said dispatchers warned there were “two loud explosions.”

Crews arrived to find flames had spread to a bungalow next to the burning RV.  The homeowners were in bed when the fire started, Francis said. 
“They heard the explosion out around their motor home and barely escaped,” the chief said. A 95-year-old woman, the mother of one of the homeowners who lives in the adjacent home, also escaped. Firefighters were able to save her house and a garage on the property. The motor home and bungalow were destroyed.

Firefighters from Bear River, Bridgetown, Lawrencetown, Port Lorne and Middleton were part of the three-hour effort to battle the blaze. The fire marshal’s office and RCMP are investigating.

The 55-year-old man is in hospital in Halifax, where he was expected to undergo surgery for non-life-threatening injuries July4, MacDonald said.

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