Man shocked with stun gun by Penticton RCMP after pellet gun mistaken for real handgun

Kelowna RCMP released this picture to show how difficult it can be to tell the difference between imitation guns and the real thing. The black and brown pistol on the left is a bb gun. The grey and black pistol on the right is a police service weapon. Kelowna RCMP

Police in Penticton are warning people to be careful of where they are handling pellet guns after an incident in the Superstore parking lot last week that resulted in a man being shocked with a stun gun.

He had a pellet gun he’d acquired to deal with rodents at his home, police said.

However, it appears people thought the weapon was a real firearm.

Police said witnesses told the RCMP there was a man sitting in a vehicle in the Superstore parking lot who appeared to be loading bullets into the magazine of a handgun.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna RCMP concerned about rise in imitation gun incidents' Kelowna RCMP concerned about rise in imitation gun incidents
Kelowna RCMP concerned about rise in imitation gun incidents – Aug 6, 2020

Responding officers ended up shocking the man with a stun gun after police said he “became noncompliant, ignoring police commands while turning away from the police and reaching into his pockets.”

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“Pellet guns or replica firearms have become almost identical in appearance to the real thing. It is very difficult for the public or an officer to tell the difference,” Sgt. Jason Bayda of the Penticton RCMP said in a media release.

“This is why it is so important to remain cognizant of where you are handling them. Handling them in view of public in a busy area is going to garner a quick police response that often requires police to have to make split second decisions.”

Read more: Kelowna RCMP concerned about rise in imitation firearm incidents

The man is not facing any charges as the pellet gun was not being used for a criminal purpose.

Police said he was not injured by the stun gun but was taken to hospital to be assessed.

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