Police evacuate Halifax university dorm after gun photo posted online

Saint Mary's University's Loyola Residence, pictured on Jan. 7, 2017, is located on Gorsebrook Avenue in Halifax. Steve Silva / Global News

A student in a Saint Mary’s University dormitory caused his floor to be evacuated Friday night after police said he posted a photo of himself on a social media website holding what they thought could be an assault rifle.

It was later determined to be a paintball gun.

The photo was described by police as appearing “very recent” with a dorm room setting.

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University security alerted police to the photo at 10:45 p.m. AT, according to a press release by the Halifax Regional Police.

The student lived in the Loyola Residence but wasn’t there when police arrived; he was later found at a different location and then taken into custody.

“[Police] would like to remind people not to post pictures of themselves with firearms or guns that appear to be actual firearms. Police have to treat these investigations as if they were firearms which could potentially lead to dangerous situations. It also ties up police resources and could result in various charges for the person posting the pictures,” Sgt. Rob Lowther said in the press release.

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