West Shore RCMP released two men with no charges who were spotted in Colwood near John Stubbs Memorial School and Royal Roads University with a replica rifle.
On April 27, the two schools were placed on hold and secure after two men were seen nearby with a gun.
When police arrived and located the men, they determined the gun was a realistic-looking replica airsoft rifle.
The two men, aged 20 and 21, told police they had just purchased the replica airsoft rifle and wanted to try it out in the woods.
They never pointed the gun at anyone or purposefully used it to intimidate anyone.
Speaking with police, West Shore RCMP say they now understand why their actions caused concern to the two nearby schools in Colwood and have been released with no charges. They have relinquished the gun to RCMP and apologized for their actions.
“We would like to remind the public that although replica firearms themselves are not illegal, if they are used in the commission of an offence you can be facing weapons-related charges,” Cpl. Nancy Saggar, media relations officer with the West Shore RCMP said in a release. “Please be mindful of your actions and surroundings when possessing such items.”
In a note to parents, the Sooke School District said it would have Safe and Healthy Schools team and Incident Response Team members on site Friday to speak with each classroom about the incident.
“These types of events can bring up questions, concerns or fears for your child. Everyone’s response will be different,” the note to parents said. “Parents and guardians are encouraged to be responsive and open to the emotions their child may experience.”
The district will be making additional counsellors available to students and any children who are struggling are encouraged to reach out to the school’s administration team.