Fourteen people have been arrested by the VPD after a break-in at Strathcona Elementary School in East Vancouver on Saturday evening.

“This was a dynamic call and a prolonged, overnight situation for police,” says Sergeant Aaron Roed, VPD. “Police were met with hostile and combative suspects inside the school who, at one point, threw wooden pallets and other large pieces of wood at officers.”

Police were called to the school at around 6 p.m. on Saturday and found several protestors outside the school and 14 people inside the school. The suspects in the school had forced their way in and barricaded doors and entrances on the inside.

The VPD devised an arrest plan that ensured the safety of officers and the suspects, that took into account the size of the building, the number of rooms and the various entry and exit points. Officers were able to move in and arrest 12 people just after 1 a.m. on Sunday. Two suspects fled to the roof and one resisted arrest. Both of those suspects were taken into custody at around 8:30 a.m.

“This was a long, complex call and a dangerous situation,” adds Roed. “It required planning and extensive resources during an already busy evening for the police. We’re thankful that no police officers or suspects were injured despite the aggression and violent behaviour of the suspects inside the school.”

Police located sleeping bags, tools and alcohol belonging to the suspects inside the school. The Vancouver School Board has been notified and officials will be assessing damage to the building.

Police will be pursuing charges against the individuals arrested.