Teen's cap gun mistaken for handgun, prompting takedown by Oak Bay police

An Oak Bay teen was at the centre of a police takedown Thursday evening after someone mistakenly thought he was carrying a handgun.

At 7:30 p.m., police received a complaint from someone who noticed a young man at the corner of Foul Bay Road and Cochrane Street who had what appeared to be a black handgun with a silver top in his hand, said Assistant Police Chief Mark Fisher.

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The witness thought he saw the teen “rack” the gun — bring a fresh round into the chamber. He called police, telling them the teen was kneeling on the ground.

“He also was clear there wasn’t an orange tip on the end of the gun. Most of the time, there’s an orange plastic tip on the end of cap guns,” said Fisher. “It makes them very identifying as not a real gun.”

Police were on the scene within a few minutes and found the young man near Mid Downe and Foul Bay Roads.

“We did a high-risk takedown. We had our firearms out, given the information we had at the time,” said Fisher.

Police searched the teen’s backpack and found a cap gun, but there was no orange tip on the end.

“The individual was taken to the police station and released to his mother,” said Fisher.

The 14-year-old told police he found the gun on the side of the road and was trying to load caps in it.

“These are obviously high-risk and high-stress situations and everything happens quite quickly. But it’s the safest manner to handle something of that nature when all the evidence leads you to believes someone has a legitimate gun and you have no idea what their intentions are,” said Fisher.

The gun was forfeited and will be destroyed.


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