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

Witset writes its own cannabis law

First Nation says it is their constitutional right to govern cultivation and sale of marijuana

Police watchdog recommends charges in 2017 in-custody death of Witset man

Dale Culver was pepper-sprayed by RCMP in Prince George and died later in hospital

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read