Police were outside the Peck building, which houses some of Ubisoft Montreal’s offices, responding to a possible hostage situation Friday afternoon.
Update - 3:58 p.m. ET, 11/13/20: The Montreal police are now evacuating the building and wrote on Twitter that “No threat has been identified for now.”
TVA Nouvelles is now calling the 911 call that led police to the scene a “hoax,” and reports that investigators are trying to discover who was responsible for it.
Original story follows.
“There is an ongoing police operation at the corner of Saint-Laurent and St-Viateur,” the Montreal police wrote on Twitter. “We ask people to avoid the area. The #SPVM is currently validating information and more details will follow.”
At 2:31 p.m. a reporter at CTV Montreal said police had moved to a new street with a helicopter circling overhead. A video shared on Twitter shows armed police taking cover behind a police vehicle at the intersection where the street is blocked off earlier in the after noon. The Journal de Montreal reports that some Ubisoft employees are seeking shelter on the building’s roof. The building houses several other businesses in addition to Ubisoft.
“We’re seeing people on the roof. It’s the roof of Ubisoft and other businesses,” an eye-witness told TVA Nouvelles, according to a translation by Kotaku. “On the roof we’re seeing a good 50 or so people.” According to TVA Nouvelles, some Ubisoft employees have barricaded themselves in conference rooms.
Many Ubisoft Montreal employees are still working from home as a result of the ongoing pandemic, three sources told Kotaku.
Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request by Kotaku for comment.
Update - 3:06 p.m. ET, 11/13/20: A spokesperson for Ubisoft tells Kotaku, “We are aware of the situation and working with local authorities.”
Update - 3:16 p.m. ET, 11/13/20: CBC News reports that according to Montreal police, the incident was possibly related to an armed robbery and officers were dispatched to the building following a 911 call.
Update - 7:50 p.m. ET, 11/13/20: The Montreal police confirmed in a press release that today’s events at the Ubisoft Montreal office began with a call about a hostage situation taking place in the building. After securing the area and investigating, however, police found no evidence of “threat,” and are now trying to find the person responsible for making the original 911 call.
“The evacuees are being directed to a place where investigators will take their statement,” the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) said. “A team of CIUSS social workers is also on hand to support them as needed. An investigation will follow regarding the call behind this important police force deployment.”
In a statement on Twitter, the Ubisoft Montreal office commended the courage and composure of its employees and said it was “extremely relieved this was resolved without incident.”