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Suspects arrested in Preston shootings released

Two men who were arrested in connection with shooting incidents in the Preston, NS, area on Friday have been released without charges.

Nova Scotia RCMP Cpl. Chris Marshall says police have been able to rule out a third suspect and initial reports that shots were also fired in North Preston.

He says while the two men are known to each other, no one was injured, and it’s unknown if they may have been shooting at each other or something else.

Halifax District RCMP responded to a report of multiple shootings in East Preston, just before 7 pm on Friday.

Police arrived on the scene at Brian Street where the last shooting was reported to have happened and arrested a 21-year-old man.

Police believed that two other men – who were possibly armed – had run into a wooded area behind Brian Street.

The area was secured and a search for the men was conducted.

Just after 8 pm, the RCMP issued an emergency alert to all residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality to notify them of the situation.

The alert asked all residents in the East Preston area to shelter in place while police were working on locating the suspects.

An Emergency Alert was issued in Nova Scotia on April 8, 2022.

The province’s emergency response team and a K9 unit were called to the area to help with the search of the woods.

Around 9; 20 pm, police located a 26-year-old man who had entered a home without consent on Cherry Brook Road in Cherry Brook, NS

Police say the man was arrested.

The emergency alert was cancelled around 11:30 pm after police no longer believed there was an immediate risk to the public.

A heavy police presence remained in the area overnight as police continued their investigation into the shootings.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

During the investigation, police located a stolen vehicle that they believed was involved in the shootings. The vehicle was seized by the RCMP Forensic Identification Services.

Police say both men who were arrested were released without charges.

Colter Simmonds, a native of North Preston, NS, and community advocate, says he was saddened when he saw the news and emergency alert notification.

“I actually thought about the mass shootings a couple of years ago and just locking up, trying to keep everybody safe,” Simmonds said.

Simmonds says he hopes the recent pattern of violence will come to an end and has a message for all involved.

“The issues that you’re involved with shouldn’t be involving innocent community members,” he said. “This is our community.”

Simmonds adds these are isolated incidents and people living in the community should feel safe.

HRM councillor David Hendsbee says the incident was the latest in a series of events that have caused a high level of distress in the community.

“I believe that the police feel that it was connected to a funeral that was held earlier that day for a young man who was killed last week,” Hendsbee said.

Marshall says there is no proof this incident was linked to the recent shooting deaths of Keezondre Kentrez Smith or Treyvhon Alrick Bradshaw.

The investigation into the shootings is ongoing.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact the RCMP / HRP Integrated General Investigation Section at 902-490-5020 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

With files from The Canadian Press.

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