Saanich gun complaint sees nearby school secured

Saanich police advised an elementary school to lock its doors Tuesday after receiving a complaint about a man firing a long-barrelled shotgun on Kincaid Street.

At 2:20 p.m. police received a complaint that a man and woman were shooting what appeared to be a long-barrelled firearm in a backyard, said Sgt. Damian Kowalewich.

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Police called nearby Rogers Elementary and advised it to enact its hold-and-secure protocol until the situation was resolved. During a hold and secure, exterior doors are locked and activities go on as normal inside the school.

“Our officers responded to the situation believing that the individuals were in possession of a real firearm,” Kowalewich said.

Six officers arrived at the scene and set up containment. One officer could hear what he thought was a pellet gun being fired.

Officers were able to communicate with the man and woman from a safe distance. The couple complied with police directions to walk toward the officers without any weapons.

The long-barrelled shotgun turned out to be a long black pellet gun, Kowalewich said.

The man and woman were initially detained at the scene. They have been released and are not facing criminal charges.

The investigation is continuing, however, and the two might face charges under Saanich’s bylaw regulating the discharge of firearms and bows, Kowalewich said.

Police are still talking to witnesses. The person who made the complaint was very concerned and believed that a real firearm was being discharged in her neighbourhood.

The couple told police they were shooting stuff in their backyard for “recreational purposes,” which is not allowed, Kowalewich said.

The couple surrendered the pellet gun, which might be destroyed, said the officer.

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