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Realistic papier-mache rifle prompts large police presence at University of Calgary
Members of the Calgary Police Service and campus security have concluded an investigation at the main University of Calgary campus following a report of a suspicious person Monday morning.
"Shortly after 8:30 this morning, police received a call of a male walking around the university campus holding, what was called in as, a shotgun or an assault rifle," said Acting Staff Sergeant Travis Juska of the CPS. "Officers deployed to the scene, conducted checks of the various different buildings in conjunction with security and were able to locate that male and deem the threat to be not legitimate."
"We ended up locating a papier-mâché replica rifle that appeared to be some kind of school project from a student."
According to Juska, the replica appeared realistic. "Having seen the photo myself I can attest that there is quite a likelihood to it and it's easy to see how members of the public could have seen that and believed it was a legitimate threat."
Juska says CPS members are trained in their approach to high-risk, low-frequency calls and charges are not anticipated against the student.
"It is beneficial for everyone to have an objective look when they're bringing something like this with them to campus or into a public space or anywhere that a member of the public might construe this as a legitimate threat."
The papier-mâché rifle was to be displayed by the 'Russian-speaking student association' booth at Monday's students association fair on campus.
Dru Marshall, Provost and Vice President (Academic) at the University of Calgary, released a statement to CTV News about the incident saying…
This morning Campus Security received two unsubstantiated reports of a suspicious individual on campus. Calgary Police Service arrived on campus within minutes, working with Campus Security to investigate and verify the reports. The large police presence on campus generated attention on social media and was picked up by some new outlets, which erroneously reported that the campus was in “lockdown.” Shortly thereafter, the individual was identified and located by Campus Security and Calgary Police Service and was deemed not to be a threat.
Both Campus Security and Calgary Police Service sent out notifications regarding the incident through social media. Unfortunately, there were some technical issues in sending out notifications using some of our UCalgary communication channels, which we are investigating to correct immediately.
The University of Calgary takes the importance of emergency communications very seriously, and we apologize for the lack of communication this morning due to technical difficulties.
The safety and security of all of our campuses is of utmost importance to us.