Canada gunman surrenders after 10-hour standoff

Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:47am EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - An armed man who took eight people hostage at a Workers Compensation Board office in the Western Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta, surrendered without incident on Wednesday after a 10-hour standoff with police.

Police had evacuated the building soon after responding to a morning report that the gunman, described as a disgruntled compensation claimant in his 30s, went into the building and took hostages.

The hostages were released unharmed one by one as negotiations dragged on through the day, police said in a statement.

The Edmonton Journal newspaper quoted an acquaintance of the man as saying he is a former construction worker with a long-held grudge against the board that stems from a botched knee examination.

The acquaintance said the man had also been involved in a lengthy custody dispute with the mother of his child and recently threatened to jump off a local bridge, halting traffic for several hours.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones and Frank McGurty; editing by Todd Eastham)

<p>Police prepare a robot outside the Worker's Compensation Building where a gunman is holding hostages in Edmonton, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber</p>