Replica Air-Soft Handgun Creates Terror in Quiet Neighbourhood
Delta BC - Jarvis Elementary School was on lock-down yesterday for over two hours as the Police encircled a home two doors away on the 7600 block of 118th Street in Delta. Reports of a man wielding a gun brought a swift response from the Delta Police Department, who initiated the lock-down of nearly 300 students, staff and parents as a precautionary and safety measure, given the close proximity of the school to the residence.
During this incident, Delta Police officers were in the school and worked collectively with the School Board and administration staff to ensure the safety of the children and to communicate with parents/guardians the whereabouts of their children. "We deployed a cross section of our force to respond to this," Said media relations officer Sgt. Sharlene Brooks, "We had a School liaison officer inside the school and she coordinated the lock down. As well, we utilized our Patrol Section, our Emergency Response Team, and other plain clothes officers."
The standoff, which lasted from 3:00 pm to 5:20pm, transformed the quiet neighbourhood into a scene out of a movie as the black clad Emergency Response Team surrounded the house with assault rifles held at the ready. The area was cordoned off due to a male believed to be in possession of a handgun who had gone into the residence and barricaded himself inside.
The siege was lifted at approximately 5:20 p.m. when the Delta Police along with the ERT team were able to take the male into custody without incident using voice commands to subdue him. A search of the residence revealed that the male was in possession of an AirSoft pistol that emulates the look of a real handgun.
A 27 yr old male from Delta has been in held in custody. His name won't be released until later today when he will appear for a 'Show Cause' hearing. Delta police are recommended charges including possession of a weapon (imitation) for a dangerous purpose and uttering threats.
When asked if this would be a scenario when the department would use an armoured vehicle, like the BearCat that is being contemplated as a joint purchase between Delta, Port Moody, New Westminster, and Abbotsford police forces Sgt. Brooks responded with an emphatic, "Yes!"
"It minimizes the risk to our personnel when we have equipment that caliber," she continued, "This would have been an incident when we would have used it."
Airsoft replica guns have caused many police incidents throughout North America. Although the guns are manufactured with an orange tip to distinguish them from legitimate firearms, the tips can be easily removed or covered with electrical tape making them a spitting image of the real thing.