Several Burnaby RCMP units converge upon SFU to apprehend male with suspected firearm

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      Several police units, including air services and police dogs, converged at the Burnaby campus of Simon Fraser University (SFU) on Tuesday after a potential gun threat was reported. 

      Before 2 p.m. on October 8, Burnaby RCMP were notified about a male seen carrying a gun in the 8800 block of University Drive at SFU.

      The male suspect was also believed to be wearing clothing with what was thought to be an RCMP crest.

      Due to the threat to public safety, an integrated police response effort included members from six Burnaby RCMP units, with RCMP Air Services, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Services.

      Police cleared two residences where the suspect was last seen but were unable to locate him.

      After police were informed that the male was in a classroom near the WAV Bennett Library, officers went to the location and arrested him without incident.

      The 19-year-old male suspect was found wearing a ball cap with an RCMP logo on it and a replica firearm in his bag.

      No charges have been laid yet.

      CTV News reported on October 9 that the gun was a water gun.

      SFU sent out two messages on social media on October 8, one at 4:06 p.m. to announce that the situation had been resolved, and another at 5:12 p.m., with a link to Burnaby RCMP’s statement about the incident.

      SFU chief safety officer Mark Lalonde also emailed out a statement to students in the evening on October 8.

      "When there is a police incident at an SFU campus, SFU Safety Risk Services supports and takes direction from the RCMP/police who are leading the response," he stated. “As a situation evolves details are not always clear. We try to share information as it is confirmed, and when and where it is appropriate and safe to do so. When a campus wide notification is needed I want to assure you that we have notification systems in place, but it is also important to note that it is not always safe to send out an alert as a situation is in progress.”

      However, SFU students have expressed their concerns on social media and in interviews with news outlets about how the situation was handled and the lack of notification as the incident was taking place.

      The Georgia Straight is contacting Burnaby RCMP or further information.

      Elsewhere in the city this past week, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD) was shut down after a fire broke out in one of its buildings on October 5.

      Although the fire was extinguished, the campus will remain closed until October 15 as crews repair fire and water damage.

      The Vancouver Police Department is investigating the ECUAD incident, as the fire was believed to be deliberately set by someone who broke into the building.

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