One adult and two youths were arrested Wednesday afternoon after they fired an imitation gun at a pedestrian and brandished the guns while walking through Saanich.
At around 3:20 p.m. February 15th, police were called to the 4600 block of Elk Lake Drive after it was reported a van pulled up to a pedestrian and an occupant pointed a gun at them and fired.
The pedestrian told police the gun only made a noise, similar to a cap gun and then the van drove off.
Minutes later, a person called police after they witnessed three men walking through a shopping centre in the 4500 block of West Saanich Road showing handguns in their waistbands.
Then, just after 3:40 pm, a witness reported seeing the same suspects, now wearing balaclavas, get into a van near the Saanich Fire Hall on Royal Oak Drive.
Since officers were already in the area searching for the suspects, they quickly located the van on Elk Lake Drive near Normandy Road.
Police executed a high-risk stop on the van and three people were arrested without incident.
One suspect was an adult, the other two were youths. All three were known to police.
The road was closed for a short period while the van was searched and later towed. Two cap guns and a balaclava were found in the van.
“While we continue to investigate, detectives are seeking any other witness or persons that may have interacted with these suspects to come forward and talk to police,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades with Saanich Police.
“The motive of their reckless actions remains under investigation,” said Anastasiades.
All three were released on conditions and with several recommended charges including possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, use of an imitation firearm during the commission of an offence, disguise with intent and mischief.
“Due to the nature of the call, there was a very heavy police response in that area that caused some traffic disruptions and likely raised some questions. Police treat all firearm calls as real threats to public safety and we will continue to respond accordingly.”
Anyone that interacted with any of these suspects is asked to contact the Saanich Police Department’s Info Line at 250-475-4356.