Nanaimo’s Port Place Mall saw a heavy police presence on Thursday after they received reports of a man seen with a pistol.
Numerous officers came to the scene and arrested two adult men based on descriptions given by eyewitnesses around 3:30 p.m.
“This was considered a high-risk situation for the attending officers and accordingly, their service pistols were drawn during the arrests,” Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP said.
The firearm was found in some nearby bushes and turned out to be a non-operable pellet gun.
Investigators released one of the men after determining he was not involved in the incident.
The other arrested suspect was a 45-year-old man confirmed to be seen with the firearm, police said. He was taken into custody.
The Nanaimo RCMP said that since there were no reports of threats made, and the suspect did not point the pellet gun at anyone in a threatening manner, they did not charge the man with any firearm or criminal offence and he was later released.
“Thankfully for all involved, the situation was resolved peacefully and in a timely manner,” said O’Brien.
The pellet gun in question was seized by police in the public interest and will be destroyed according to policy.