Halloween costume and toy gun result in Nanaimo RCMP ERT response


WATCH: It was a dramatic scene outside an apartment in downtown Nanaimo last night. Police got a call about a man wearing a mask and holding a gun. RCMP responding with their Emergency Response Team and for two hours the road was shut down and residents were asked to remain in their units. Kendall Hanson reports.

It was a tense scene at a Downtown Nanaimo apartment complex Monday night.

“I’ve never seen so many cops in one location,” said Jesse Davis, a neighbour.

The nearby streets are closed, police are watching the entrances to the Comox Road building and the RCMP’s emergency response team is planning their next move.

Police are responding to reports of a masked man carrying a gun.

“We got a report on Prideaux Street of a male dressed in camo gear wearing a face mask and walking with a rifle and a scope,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien, with Nanaimo RCMP. “A very alarming call that required a lot of resources on our part. We arrived at the scene and we shut off an entire city block to foot and vehicle traffic.”

RCMP determined who they are looking for and move into the building but the suspect had no idea he had created such a fuss. He had gone out for a bite to eat and it was only when he returned home that he met police.

“Thought I’d try to have some fun myself and went outside with my costume on and realized I was a huge minority,” said Rory Koncar. “So I came back home, went for dinner and came back and there were all these cops all over the place.”

This was his costume, airsoft gear and a toy gun from the dollar store which he says police confiscated.

“They kept emphasizing that it was quite a serious matter considering that it disturbed everybody,” said Koncar. “To be honest it was a toy gun. It was even smaller than a real one.”

“You never want to put a police officer in the position where he has to make that determination if it’s a replica or a real gun,” said O’Brien. “We think he got it at the end and given the situation, there’s no harm on his part. He was released with no charges and went on his way.”

After two hours on scene, police opened the street again. Koncar calls the whole incident unfortunate and says it’s too bad those wanting to celebrate Halloween have to try to ensure their scary costumes don’t result in a police call.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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