Two recent calls in North Delta have police highlighting the risks of walking in public or driving with replica guns.
In the first instance, a member of the public reported a male shooting what he suspected was a BB gun in the playground of a North Delta elementary school just before 6 p.m.
“We responded to that call urgently — with lights and sirens,” Insp. Ciaran Feenan, head of the DPD’s patrol section, said in a press release.
Feenan explained that police must treat this type of call as though the firearm might be real, and that real firearms are sometimes made to look like toys.
Police located a man matching the description provided near the playground area. The first officer on scene loudly identified himself and asked the male to show his hands, at which point the reached into his waistband and pulled out a black revolver-style handgun.
“By this time we had two officers on scene, and I’m very proud of the extremely professional way in which they handled this matter,” Feenan said. “They managed a situation with a great deal of risk and brought it to a successful and peaceful resolution.”
The man ended up lobbing the firearm in the officer’s direction, and then complied with demands to get on the ground and was taken into custody.
“As it turned out the male was extremely apologetic. He had recently purchased a paintball gun and was shooting plastic pellets at a tree while waiting for a friend,” Feenan said. “When police arrived he apparently got scared, and admitted he made a very bad decision to pull the firearm from his waistband. He had no intention of using it against anyone.”
In another instance that same night, police pulled over a vehicle after a call from the public about people in a vehicle with weapons. Again police used lights and sirens, and ordered the occupants out of the car.
Four individuals were arrested, and police seized a range of weapons from the vehicle, including a black BB gun, a cattle prod, a hatchet, a knife and more. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and police expect to forward charges to Crown counsel for consideration.
“Oftentimes, when responding to calls that involve replica guns, we find teens or young adults carrying them,” Feenan said. “In the first instance with the male in the playground, he was just 18 years old.
“Parents, please talk to your teens or grown children. They are taking a huge risk if they take that gun out in public, or in a vehicle, and potentially do something foolish.”