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

Spartans clinch first place in Pacific Division with win over UBC

It was ‘a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry’ coach says

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

UPDATE: Abbotsford murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Man who sexually assaulted teen in Abbotsford is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

LETTER: Retired firefighter defends union’s election involvement

In rebuttal to another letter writer’s stance on firefighter involvement in municipal politics.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Most Read