Pellet gun incident at Lower Mainland community centre involved homeless man

Police seize BB gun without incident

An incident where a homeless man brought a pellet gun into the Timms community centre in Langley City is an example of how bad the problem of people without a place to live has become, eyewitnesses said.

On Sunday (June 3) two women, who asked not to be named, told The Times they were visiting the library in the community centre on Douglas Crescent at 12:30 in the afternoon when they heard a clatter in the lobby.

“It sounded like someone dropped a metal water bottle,” one of the women said.

Then, they both saw a man wearing a sweatshirt grab what looked like a handgun from the floor, conceal it on his person and flee before a security guard could intervene.

The second woman thought it might be a paintball gun, but it didn’t have the orange tip on the muzzle that would indicate it wasn’t an actual handgun.

“It was scary,” she said.

A Langley RCMP report on the incident said the man with the gun returned to the Timms centre on Monday, where a security guard spotted him and called police.

The report said what turned out to be a BB gun was turned over to police without incident by a homeless man, and no charges were being recommended.

The man has been banned from the centre for a year.

The eyewitnesses, both long-time residents of Langley City, said disturbing incidents involving the homeless are on the rise.

“It’s crazy down there (in downtown Langley City),” one said.

“It’s really changed. If you’re caught looking at them (homeless people), they’re threatening.”

Both said they avoid going out at night and are planning to take a self-defence class.

The pellet gun incident follows a May confrontation at a Tim Horton’s in Langley City where a woman, apparently angry at being refused the use of the washroom, defecated in the restaurant and threw feces at the staff.

The person, shown in a security video clip that went viral, was identified as a homeless woman who frequents the Langley City area.

After the incident, she was detained and released by the RCMP, and a court date has been set to determine if charges will be laid.

READ MORE: Viral feces-throwing incident highlights need for washroom access for homeless

Currently, it’s estimated that there are between 90 to 150 homeless individuals in downtown Langley City.

Among efforts to manage the situation, the city has an Intensive Case Management team, that provides outreach with clinical supports for those facing substance abuse and mental health issues.

Stepping Stone Community Services Society has partnered with a nurse practitioner one day a week for community work, and RCMP officers have been working with individuals who are dealing with mental health issues.

Homelessness is also an issue in Langley Township, where an attempt to set up supportive housing has generated substantial controversy, with nearby residents opposing the project.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Community still divided on supportive housing at Quality Inn



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Langley trampoline gymnast off to Peru for world qualifiers

The gymnastics club is holding an open house this Saturday, Aug. 18, with free drop-in sessions.

VIDEO: Langley RCMP officer and brother lead Amazing Race Canada Heroes Edition

Courtney and Taylor Callens have become the team to beat

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Trinity Western men’s soccer team starts California trip with a win

Spartans use their ability to execute on set pieces to claim a 3-2 victory

Police issue warning that 19-year-old poses ‘significant’ risk to the public

Varinderpal ‘VP’ Gill of Abbotsford involved in Lower Mainland gang conflict, police say

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

Two civilians were killed in a shooting in Fredericton that also claimed the lives of two police officers.

2 girls, hand-drawn map in hand, sneak out of B.C. home for adventure

The pair’s escape has transit police reminding commuters to report unusual behaviour

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said day to recognize painful legacy would boost understanding

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Most Read