(Image / Tom Brenner)

A 29-year-old man was arrested after allegedly threatening hostages with a weapon in an apartment unit in Nanaimo.

At around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 5th, RCMP responded to reports of a man with a firearm and threatening individuals in one of the units at an apartment building in the 600-block of Rosehill Street.

As a precaution due to the possible presence of a firearm and hostages, the Vancouver Island RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) was deployed, and nearby apartment units were evacuated.

Two men walked out of the apartment after ERT arrived, and officers were able to take a 29-year-old male suspect into custody soon afterwards. Police also seized a black Airsoft pistol from the apartment.

Authorities were also able to locate two children, aged 7 and 3 years old, inside the apartment. They were found unharmed and turned over to a responsible adult.

Due to the presence of children, the Ministry of Children and Family Development have been contacted.

The suspect has been released from custody on a Promise to Appear, on charges of Uttering Threats and Pointing a Firearm. His court date is set for Wednesday, February 5th.

In a statement, Nanaimo RCMP also pointed out that various pictures of police officers were posted on social media while they were on scene taking up positions from which they could safely contain the suspect.

“This is extremely dangerous as it not only exposes the locations of our officers but this information can easily be obtained by the suspect. Please respect the fact that these situations are volatile and highly unpredictable,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien.

“By posting pictures, you are simply adding another layer of risk to an already dangerous incident.”