Armed and distraught man known to police surrenders to Richmond RCMP

SHORTLY before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, frontline Richmond RCMP officers responded to a department store located near the 9000-block of Alderbridge Way for reports of an armed and distraught man.

The man was found in distress and was observed brandishing two meat cleavers towards police and refusing to surrender.

Richmond RCMP mobilized swiftly by evacuating people and creating a security perimeter including road closures near the location.

Richmond RCMP’s own crisis negotiator, the LMD Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Police Dog Services Unit (PDS) were called upon to assist.

After a prolonged stalemate, the man surrendered to police and was taken into custody around 5:30 p.m. No injuries were reported. The RCMP investigation is ongoing.

The Prosecution Service of BC has approved three charges against John Bennett Lam, 31, of Richmond:

* 1 count of threatening with a weapon

* 1 count of possession of a weapon

* 1 count of causing a disturbance

Lam is known to police.

“Though we train extensively, this situation was unique and highly dangerous. It is a stark reality check as to the world we are living in today. We are fortunate to have our own Crisis Negotiator at Richmond Detachment who was able to open lines of dialog with the distraught man. To achieve a peaceful outcome is our ultimate goal but incredibly difficult to achieve,” said Cpl. Dennis Hwang on Wednesday.

“We strongly urge the public to leave dangerous areas immediately when directed. We cannot stress this point enough. We are putting ourselves in harm’s way to safeguard you. Don’t linger and become a potential victim or casualty. Lacking the foresight by staying in a dangerous area or hot zone out of sheer curiosity, or for sake of capturing a video, this is not acceptable in any way, shape or form.”