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UPDATE: Gun call near middle school prompts heavy police presence in Saanich

Man arrested, in custody after firearm call
A man arrested near a middle school in Saanich Sept. 26 was carrying a realistic airsoft rifle. (Courtesy Saanich Police Department)

A man is in police custody after a gun call in Saanich early Monday morning.

Police were called shortly after 6 a.m. on Sept. 26 for reports of a man walking in the field of Cedar Hill Middle School carrying a firearm.

As police were responding, it was reported he had pointed the firearm at a person and then walked toward a business complex and into a covered parkade at the corner of Cedar Hill Road and McKenzie Avenue, the Saanich Police Department said in a release.

Out of concern for public safety, police closed the immediate area to traffic and evacuated people from the complex.

Officers arrested a suspect in the parkade. The 19-year-old man had an airsoft gun that looked like a real semi-automatic rifle. He faces one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and remains in police custody.

“While we are still working on why this man was walking around with a weapon in public, we have no information to suggest he was targeting any person or location,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades in a release. “Imitation firearms pose a significant risk to the public, as police treat them as real until proven otherwise. Imitation, airsoft, paintball or similar weapons should never be carried or used in public spaces.”

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