Support Fort St John News

An elderly woman was held hostage Saturday by William Bicknell.

The Grande Prairie RCMP are still investigating the incidents that led to the arrest of William Bicknell.

Police allege Bicknell entered an elderly woman’s residence north of Sexsmith at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday March 19th, and held her hostage at the residence until she was able to escape at approximately 4:00 pm . She contacted police and family members who both attended the area. 
 
According to the RCMP, Bicknell was attempting to leave the residence, as police arrived a pursuit ensued.  The distance of the pursuit was approximately 15 miles during which police allege that Bicknell shot at the RCMP members pursuing, and disabled a police vehicle.
 
The pursuit eventually ended east of Sexsmith at Township Road 734 and Range Road 55, when the vehicle Bicknell was operating entered the ditch.  At this point, Bicknell allegedly engaged police in an exchange of gunfire. 
 
A 5 year RCMP member posted at the Grande Prairie Detachment was shot upon and as a result sustained a minor injury for which he was treated and released from hospital. 

Bicknell sustained injuries during the incident.  He later surrendered to police in.  Bicknell was taken to hospital where he received immediate treatment and then was flown to an Edmonton area hospital where he continues to receive medical treatment. 

The Grande Prairie RCMP are still investigating how and what injuries he sustained.

Charges resulting from the incidents in the Spirit River/Sexsmith areas are still pending. 
 
Police continue to canvass the public who may have witnessed any of the events and encourage them to contact Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at (780)830-5700.

On March 10, William Bicknell, escaped from prison while returning from Edmonton to Drumheller. Bicknell overpowered the guard after he faked an illness. Until Saturday, Bicknell had been on the run.  

Report an error

Read our guiding principles

Thanks for reading!

Energeticcity.ca is the voice of the Peace, bringing issues that matter to the forefront with independent journalism. Our job is to share the unique values of the Peace region with the rest of B.C. and make sure those in power hear us. From your kids’ lemonade stand to natural resource projects, we cover it – but we need your support. Give $10 a month to Energeticcity.ca today and be the reason we can cover the next story. 

More stories you might like