An officer shot at a man as he fled from police in a stolen car near Ladysmith on Wednesday, according to RCMP.

Ladysmith RCMP say that shortly before 11 a.m., the Mountie noticed a vehicle parked in a public lot at Elliot Beach Park and determined it had been reported stolen to Nanaimo RCMP.

When he tried to order the driver to get out of the vehicle, the driver ignored his orders and fled.

At some point during the confrontation, the officer fired a single shot, but Mounties aren't saying why.

"The investigation is still unfolding so those details will be determined in the investigation," said Ladysmith RCMP Staff-Sgt. Ken Brissard.

About 45 minutes later, police found the vehicle abandoned on Stz'uminus First Nation land.

With the help of a police dog, they tracked down the suspect and arrested him without incident.

"About eleven o'clock I heard people announcing they were looking for a grey van, so I came back from the band office and I talked to one of the cops and I guess they had caught him," said Stz'uminus First Nation employee Mack Seymour. "They had the dogs out and they chased him and caught up to him."

Brissard wouldn't say whether the officer who fired a shot was threatened by the driver, but agreed he wouldn't have fired his gun unless he felt he was in danger.

He said despite earlier reports, there was no police pursuit involving the stolen vehicle.

The RCMP's Island District General Investigation Section is now heading up the investigation, Brissard said.

He said he didn't believe there was any risk to the public in the incident.