July 16, 2019 6:22 pm

Gun scare that forced evacuation of Nanaimo mall caused by replica weapon: RCMP

Police outside the Woodgrove Centre Mall in Nanaimo on Monday.

Allen Felker

Nanaimo RCMP say an imitation gun was at the centre of a heavy police response and closure at the city’s Woodgrove Mall on Monday.

According to police, officers were called to the mall around 5:20 p.m. after security reported seeing a youth pull a handgun from his waistband.

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Nanaimo RCMP officers, along with the Emergency Response Team and a dog squad, responded and the mall was evacuated and placed on lockdown, police said.

Mounties said they found the suspect at another location, and recovered an imitation firearm.

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He was held overnight, and was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, police said.

The mall was reopened around 7 p.m., according to police.

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