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Target practice on carrot prompts police response in North Vancouver

Two men from Whistler told RCMP they were testing their new airsoft handgun by shooting at a carrot at a North Van construction site
North Van RCMP were called to a construction site Monday where two men were found in possession of a fake gun.

For the third time in recent weeks, police on the North Shore found themselves dealing with a report of men with a gun Monday evening.

North Vancouver RCMP were called out around 6 p.m. to a construction site at East 21st Street and Lonsdale Avenue where a passerby reported seeing two men, one of whom appeared to be holding a handgun.

Officers arrived on scene and found two men matching the descriptions given to police.

One of the men was carrying an airsoft handgun.

The men, both from Whistler and in their 20s, told police they had recently bought the pellet gun and were testing it out by shooting at a carrot in a grassy area of the construction site.

The airsoft gun was turned over to police and charges aren’t being considered, said Const. Mansoor Sahak of the North Vancouver RCMP.

It’s the third time police have been called out recently to deal with people wielding what turned out to be imitation guns.

The first incident happened April 5 when West Vancouver Police arrested a bus passenger who carried a fake gun onboard public transit.

Police stopped the bus near Marine Drive and 22nd Street and arrested a suspect, who was found in possession of an imitation gun.

On April 6 in North Vancouver, a man observed playing with what turned out to be a fake handgun outside the library was arrested in a dramatic takedown at a bus stop on Lonsdale Avenue.

Sahak warned anyone who carries a fake gun in public can expect a police response to follow. “It’s going to cause panic,” he said.

He added there’s no way for police to tell whether a gun is real or not from a distance, so officers have to assume the gun is real until they can verify otherwise.