Pellet gun in vehicle triggers police take-down

Nanaimo RCMP had guns drawn as they stopped a car they suspected contained a suspect with a weapon

Police in Nanaimo had guns drawn when they stopped a vehicle last week.

The incident happened Friday afternoon after a motorist reported seeing a passenger holding what appeared to be a handgun in a car travelling southbound on the Island Highway near the Norwell Drive intersection.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police located the car and stopped it on McDonald Crescent, near Waddington and Townsite roads.

“Because of the possibility of a firearm in the car, we conducted a high-risk vehicle stop,” O’Brien said. “There was four people in the car. All four were removed and detained and then the vehicle was searched and what we found on the front seat was a replica pellet gun.”

One 17-year-old boy was arrested for possession of a replica firearm while travelling in a motor vehicle. O’Brien said he was also arrested on outstanding warrants for failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo and he had also been reported missing from his group home for more than a month.

The other three people in the car – all adults – were all released unconditionally without charges.

“If you’re going to have a pellet gun in a car, make sure it’s secure, out of sight, out of mind, preferably in the trunk,” O’Brien said. “Our officers had no idea of the risk that they were being faced with. They were working under the assumption that this was a real firearm and that’s exactly how they handled the situation.”

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