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Kelowna  

Cops swarm over fake gun

Jon Manchester

UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.

Police confirm a guns-drawn takedown in downtown Kelowna was prompted by multiple 911 calls over what appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun.

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says RCMP received multiple reports of a suspicious male, with his face obstructed, believed to be in possession of a firearm in the area of Bernard Avenue and Mill Street.

"Police were told by multiple callers that the unknown male suspect was seen carrying what appeared to be a sawed-off, long-barrelled firearm wrapped in fabric."

“Concerned for public and police safety ... officers descended on Kerry Park, where they took multiple individuals into custody without incident, during a dynamic, high-risk arrest,” says O’Donaghey.

Police confirmed the item in the man's possession was not a firearm, but rather an item altered to look like one.

One individual remains in police custody, pending further investigation. The others were released without charge.


UPDATE: 2:20 p.m.

It appears Monday's police incident at Kerry Park centred around a report of a male with a gun walking downtown.

A witness told Castanet he was on the patio at Starbucks on Bernard and Pandosy when the man walked by.

"A kid dressed in black with a scarf around his face, walking with something that looked like a sawed-off shotgun all wrapped up in a black cloth, swinging it around at people walking down Bernard," the witness told Castanet.

"It looked exactly like a sawed-off shotgun, and he was holding it like a sawed-off shotgun."

The man called 911.

The witness said the person made it to Kerry Park and joined a number of friends who were all dressed the same way.

The item in question was apparently a hockey stick.

Police have yet to officially comment on the incident.


ORIGINAL: 2:19 p.m.

Police swarmed downtown Kelowna Monday afternoon with guns drawn at one of the city's busiest corners.

As dozens of locals and tourists watched, 10 RCMP cruisers descended on Kerry Park shortly before 2 p.m.

Officers had rifles and pistols drawn as they converged on a group of young men, who appeared to be homeless, lounging in the park.

One by one, officers made the men crawl towards them, lie face down and then handcuffed them.

The officers searched their backpacks, questioned the men, and then appeared to release at least some of them.

It's not known what prompted the heavy police presence just steps from the city's iconic Sails sculpture.

A large crowd gathered dangerously close to the action, as police yelled to keep onlookers back. Some sauntered by seemingly unaware of the drama unfolding just a few feet away.

Police are expected to release more information about the incident this afternoon.



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