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

RCMP ask for help locating missing woman

Sheyna McNabb was last seen near King George and 96th Ave. in Surrey

George Harvie wins race for Delta mayor

Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate also took 4 of 6 seats on council and 3 of 7 seats on school board

Pedestrian rushed to hospital after being hit by car in Surrey

Friday crash at 88th Avenue and 152nd Street is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians

Two women injured in late-night assault outside White Rock restaurant

‘All he had to do was turn around and leave’ - victim

Campaign pledge prompts Delta libraries reminder of parents, infant health programs

Mayoral candidate George Harvie promised to restore the BabyDaze program if elected

Surrey-based podcast focuses on Canadian true crime

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast picks up Dark Poutine

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

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

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

Most Read