Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo was evacuated Monday evening as police searched for a young man who was seen with a gun.
The mall was placed on lockdown then evacuated after police received a report of a youth inside with a firearm at around 5:20 p.m.
Heavy police presence around Woodgrove Mall in #Nanaimo after much if not all of it evacuated. Shoppers saw armed police quickly searching stores and telling them to leave. Officers just leaving now saying the mall has been cleared. pic.twitter.com/yCuzKjbcVY
— Kendall Hanson (@Kendall_Hanson) July 16, 2019
Sgt. Jon Stuart, Nanaimo RCMP media relations officer, said the youth was located at around 6:30 p.m. at a different location. It is unknown whether a firearm or a replica gun was also recovered at that time.
Stuart said they don’t know what the youth’s intentions were. Stuart said an investigation is ongoing and they will confirm at a later time if any charges are laid.
“Anytime someone’s at a public event with a firearm, it causes us great concern,” Stuart said.
The mall, which is at 6631 North Island Highway, is now closed. It will open during regular hours on Tuesday.
The Regional District of Nanaimo Transit System said their buses were not departing from Woodgrove Centre while police evacuated.
Passengers were told to expect delays on most routes.
— RDN_Transit (@RDN_Transit) July 16, 2019