Saanich Police say three people have been arrested for firing an imitation gun at a pedestrian and brandishing the guns while walking through a shopping centre.
Around 3:20 p.m. on Feb. 15, police were called to the 4600 block of Elk Lake Drive after someone who was walking said a van pulled up beside them and an occupant pointed a gun at them and fired. Police say the gun only made a noise, similar to a cap gun and then the van drove off.
Shortly after, another witness called and said three men were walking through the shopping centre in the 4500 block of West Saanich Road showing handguns in their waistbands.
Later, another person called saying the three, now wearing balaclavas, were getting into a van near the Saanich Fire Hall on Royal Oak Drive.
Since police were already in the area searching for the suspects, they were able to locate the van and did a “high-risk police stop” and were able to safely arrest all three.
One suspect was an adult, the other two were youths, police say all three were known to them.
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 in a news release.
“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.”
Their motives were still under investigation at the time of the news release.
All three have been released on conditions and police have recommended several 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.
Anyone who interacted with the three is asked to call Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4356.