A 21-year-old Saanich man faces an assault with a weapon charge after allegedly shooting a 13-year-old Colquitz middle school student with a pellet gun over the lunch hour Thursday.
The boy who was shot was not injured and didn’t require medical attention.
The suspect was arrested at a home on Brunswick Place. He was taken to Saanich police headquarters for questioning and was released around 10 p.m. with an early August court date for a charge of assault with a weapon.
Police executed a search warrant on the home Thursday evening and took a replica rifle as evidence. “In appearances, it looks very realistic,” said Sgt. Dean Jantzen.
The school went into a semi-lockdown state after the shooting, where classes continued, but kids were kept indoors. Greater Victoria School District assistant superintendent Pat Duncan said students were released from classes around 1:30 p.m., immediately after Saanich police made an arrest at gunpoint at a home adjacent to the school.
Duncan said at around 12:30 p.m. two boys were on the school fields when an adult came out of a nearby home.
“All of sudden the boys heard a sound, and a young boy got hit in the back by a pellet,” Duncan said. “They saw the gentleman walking away with his dogs and a pellet gun.”
The student immediately informed an adult, who took the boy to the school administration, who called police. Duncan said the student wasn’t hurt, but was shaken by the incident.
“He’s absolutely fine. He got hit in the back left lower quadrant. You can hardly even see a little mark,” Duncan said. “He was scared. When ever somebody brings out a weapon … we all would be scared.”
Scores of police units initially descended on the school due to the nature of the call.
“As you can imagine it drew most of our resources in the community given the gravity of the situation and no knowing what had happened,” Jantzen said. School administration did exactly what is expected, he noted – they got students indoors and locked-down the school.
“Any time that there’s a discharge of whether a pellet pistol or BB gun … there are criminal code implications about possessing a firearm that might be dangerous to the public,” he said.
Jantzen said there was some type of interaction between the two students and the man who allegedly shot the pellet gun. “We don’t understand what precipiated this but we are looking into that.”
The 21-year-old was released “because there’s no perceived continued danger to the public,” Jantzen said, though he has strict conditions on his release, including not going to the school and not possessing any weapons.
The man is expected to appear in court today to be formally charged.
– with files from Edward Hill