Man arrested after shooting at Centennial Park was found to be a false report

The reported shooting shut down the Centennial Park area of Moncton for several hours.
The reported shooting shut down the Centennial Park area of Moncton for several hours. Callum Smith/Global News

Police say a shooting that was reported in the Centennial Park area of Moncton earlier this month — which prompted an Alert Ready message, put several nearby schools and businesses into lockdown, and kept residents in their homes for much of the day — “did not occur as described to police.”

In a release Friday, the New Brunswick RCMP said a 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with this report.

Officers with Codiac Regional RCMP responded to a report of a vehicle struck by bullets near Millennium Boulevard and Killam Drive around 8:30 on May 13. Police said at the time they found the report to be “credible.”

The park was blocked off to the public and an Alert Ready message was issued. Officers conducted an “exhaustive” search of the area and didn’t find any evidence to justify keeping it contained, and the alert was lifted shortly after 6 p.m.

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Read more: Police clear Centennial Park area of Moncton after shots fired, no arrests made

“We operate on the information we have at the time. Given the seriousness of the report, the RCMP acted in the best interests of public safety by containing the area and issuing an Alert Ready message,” said New Brunswick RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Hans Ouellette in a release. “When no evidence was discovered in the park, we began to widen our investigation.”

That day, Global News spoke with an auto body shop owner in the area who said a man in a truck pulled into his parking lot and said someone had shot at his vehicle. The truck appeared to have bullet holes.

However, through subsequent investigation, the RCMP later determined that no shooting happened at that time.

Officers arrested a man from Shediac Cape on May 20. He was released from custody pending an appearance in Moncton Provincial Court on August 11 at 9:30.

“We know people have many questions still – as have we – but that is information that will have to come out through the court process,” said Ouellette in the release.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Click to play video: 'Shooting in Centennial Park area of Moncton' Shooting in Centennial Park area of Moncton
Shooting in Centennial Park area of Moncton – May 13, 2021

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