RCMP officers with guns descended on SFU’s Burnaby campus in response to a gun scare on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (Courtney/Twitter)

No risk to public safety: Burnaby RCMP on why public not notified in SFU gun scare

A 19-year-old man was arrested, and a replica gun was found

Mounties say the public was never at risk during Tuesday’s gun scare at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus.

It’s for that reason neither the university nor the Burnaby RCMP released any information about the incident until two hours after it began, Cpl. Daniela Panesar told Black Press Media in a statement Wednesday.

“We would like for the public to know that there was a large and immediate response to yesterday’s call and police quickly had the scene contained,” Panesar said.

“Officers on scene immediately engaged with SFU security in locating the suspect.”

The incident began around 2 p.m., when a large amount of RCMP descended on campus. They found and arrested a 19-year-old man wearing a RCMP logo ball cap, and found a replica gun in a bag that allegedly belonged to the man.

READ MORE: Man, 19, arrested after gun reported at SFU’s Burnaby campus

Parmar said that although police always consider warning the public, they were concerned Tuesday that people may have confused a man in an RCMP ball cap with actual Mounties, some of whom were plain clothes officers and could have looked similar to the 19-year-old.

That could lead to a “considerable concern for police officer safety,” she noted.

During the incident and into the evening, multiple students took to social media to ask why no one told them there was a gun scare.

“Anyone know what’s happening with police and kicking people out of the dorms?” asked Reddit user hijulyy.

“SFU Security drops the ball again with keeping students informed and keeping safety at the forefront,” user SergeantP posted.

“@SFU there’s about 20 police cars and low flying helicopters at Burnaby campus. Apparently a gun threat??? Maybe you guys could shed some light as to what is going on,” Tayla Jae Jackson asked on Twitter.

In an email sent to students Wednesday night, SFU said student safety is their priority.

“We try to share information as it is confirmed, and when and where it is appropriate and safe to do so. When a campus wide notification is needed I want to assure you that we have notification systems in place, but it is also important to note that it is not always safe to send out an alert as a situation is in progress.”

The university did not send out any alerts, or post information to social media, until later Wednesday evening.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police arrest suspect in arson spree near Camosun College Lansdowne campus

Calgary man in police custody waiting for a tele-bail hearing, constable says

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

Saanich Peninsula Hospital to host new COVID-19 testing facilities

It is not clear yet when they will go into action

Three impaired drivers stopped in Saanich over one weekend

Drivers receive 90-day driving prohibition, month-long vehicle impound

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read