Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Shopping Centre was locked down and evacuated Monday evening after a male youth was spotted brandishing what appeared to be a firearm inside the building.
At approximately 5:20 p.m., Nanaimo RCMP received a call of a male youth wielding a gun inside of the shopping centre. The report came from building security security who saw the youth pull the handgun out from his waistband.
Officers then immediately surrounded the area, and the shopping centre was placed into lockdown.
Multiple Nanaimo RCMP officers, a K9 unit, and the detachment’s emergency response team responded to the call. As the incident involved a firearm, officers entered the building wielding carbine rifles and wore body armour.
The shopping centre was evacuated as officers entered the building to ensure the safety of shoppers and store employees.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., the youth was located and found to be carrying an ‘imitation firearm’.
He was then held in custody until his court appearance on Tuesday morning. He is facing multiple allegations, including possession of an imitation weapon.
“This was a dynamic scene, that was handled in a calm manner by everyone involved,” said Sgt. Jon Stuart, Nanaimo RCMP, in a statement. “This is what we train for.”
“Thankfully in this incident the suspect was apprehended, with no harm to the public or anyone involved reported. We would like to recognize the support and assistance played by mall security, the store employees, RDN Transit, and the public in general.”