Police incident at SFU Burnaby campus on October 11, 2021

Burnaby RCMP responded to reports of a man driving in the area with a firearm

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West Mall Parking lot
PHOTO: Gudrun Wai-Gunnarsson / The Peak

By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer

On October 11, 2021, SFU asked the community via Twitter to avoid the area surrounding the West Mall parkade at Burnaby campus, citing a police incident in progress. Roughly 45 minutes later, their subsequent tweet said “incident concluded and access to area now open.”

The Peak contacted Burnaby RCMP for more information. Corporal Mike Kalanj said, “Burnaby RCMP received a report of a man holding what was believed to be a firearm while driving in the area.” 

The Burnaby RCMP arrived on campus and arrested the man who Kalanj reported was in possession of an airsoft gun. 

According to the RCMP, airsoft guns — guns that expel pellets using compressed air — are powerful enough to classify as firearms and are regulated by the Firearms Act. If airsoft guns are used in a crime scenario, they are considered firearms under the Criminal Code

They are subject to the same licensing, registration, carrying laws, and transportation requirements as a standard firearm. 

The apprehended man at SFU Burnaby was released and is set to go before court in January 2022. Kalanj said “a weapons possession investigation is ongoing.”

SFU has outlined the appropriate steps for individuals on campus if there is an active threat. The procedure asks people to run and evacuate the area if they can see an armed intruder and if it is possible to safely exit. If escape is not possible, SFU recommends taking shelter, locking doors and windows, and turning off lights. 

SFU has workshops which can be requested via their website to learn more about active threat procedures and training. For individuals seeking emotional support SFU encourages them to visit Health and Counselling.

The Peak reached out to SFU about the incident but they declined to comment.