Man released from custody after arrest for firing gun in Victoria street

A man arrested for firing an air-powered handgun outside a supportive housing facility in downtown Victoria has been released from custody with court-ordered conditions.

While the weapon he was using has been seized, the man, who cannot be identified by police as he has not been charged, has been set free with a court date and orders not to possess weapons.

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Victoria police cannot release a description of the man, who is known to them, as they are still asking for witnesses to the incident to come forward to help with the investigation.

According to Victoria police, the decision to release anyone is based on the likelihood they will attend court, the risk posed to public safety and the impact on confidence in the criminal justice system.

In addition, the police said in a statement that Bill C-75 requires police to release an accused person at the earliest possible opportunity after considering those factors.

The man was taken into custody early Monday after officers responded to a 911 call that a man was firing a handgun outside a multi-unit supportive housing facility in the 800 block of Johnson Street.

Officers saw a man standing outside the building, firing what appeared to be a handgun while people fled the area. An officer watched the man put the weapon in his pocket.

When the man refused to comply with a police instruction, officers deployed a bean-bag shotgun and a conducted energy weapon. The weapons were only partly effective and the man was taken to the ground by an officer.

Police recovered a compressed air-powered handgun and a knife after searching the man.

Once in custody the man told police he had used opioids and began to exhibit symptoms of an overdose. Officers gave the man naloxone and medical care until paramedics took him to hospital.

aduffy@timescolonist

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