Burnaby RCMP spent several hours on Friday afternoon searching for a shooter a Metrotown mall after what turned out to be unfounded reports of shots fired.
In a release, the RCMP say they were originally called to the area to assist Metro Vancouver Transit Police to investigate an unfounded report of a pipe bomb at Metrotown Station. Transit Police swept the station and found no explosive device anywhere in the area. Skytrain service has since resumed.
Metrotown mall was given the “all clear” at 6:30 p.m., but remains closed for the evening.
“We understand this was a dynamic and distressing situation for the public and those in the area, with customers and staff taking shelter in stores in the mall and others evacuating from the building,” said Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj. “We are thankful this isn’t a situation often faced in Canada and are grateful this call was unfounded and nobody was hurt.”
Burnaby RCMP are investigating the source of the call and whether the incident was related to “swatting”, a practice where people place unfounded emergency calls to prompt large police responses.
Also on Friday, Port Moody Police responded to reports of a bomb threat at Seaview Elementary. That report was also unfounded and one person has been arrested in connection to that incident.
It’s unclear if these three incidents are related.
“We will be working closely with our policing partners, including Port Moody Police and Transit Police on the investigation,” Cpl. Kalanj said.
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