Yesterday, a university campus in B.C. was the location of a terrifying incident. According to RCMP, a potential SFU gun threat caused evacuations on the Burnaby campus. As a result, an individual has since been arrested.
After the fact, some students are now speaking out online about the lack of information in circulation during the entire incident. By the sounds of it, no one knew what was going on.
According to a press release by the Burnaby RCMP, local authorizes arrived at the SFU campus in Burnaby following several reports of a man carrying a gun just before 2 p.m. on October 8, 2019. The man was allegedly wearing clothing that included an RCMP crest.
Due to the potentially dangerous situation, several police units responded including RCMP Air Services with a police helicopter, the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Services, and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.
Once police arrived on the scene, two of the University's student residences were cleared in the area where the man was reportedly seen.
Later the RMCP received information that the man was in a classroom close to the WAC Bennett Library. This is where the man was located and arrested.
The RCMP has not publicly identified the 19-year-old man. Though they have stated in the release that at the time of the incident, he was wearing a ball cap with an RCMP logo on it and carrying a replica firearm in his bag. At this time, no charges have been laid.
This is a frightening incident, to say the least, and it is not the first time something like the has happened in B.C. this year.
Some students from Simon Fraser University are now questioning how the potentially dangerous situation was handled.
A student named Adrienne Blas told CTV News that they were constantly checking Twitter for updates at the time of the investigation.
SFU did tweet out yesterday that they were aware of the police presence on campus. The tweet, which was released a little after 4 p.m., announced that “everyone is safe and the situation is resolved.”
SFU is aware of Burnaby RCMP's presence on campus. Everyone is safe and the situation is resolved. For information contact @BCRCMP— Simon Fraser University (@Simon Fraser University)1570575969.0
Several people have been responding to the tweet and questioning how it was handled. Many students are concerned about the lack of communication during the ordeal.
@SFU @BCRCMP I don’t think I should study communication here anymore. Can’t even simply notify people.— Lara (@Lara)1570578391.0
One student even mentioned that there was no notification given on the SFU app.
@SFU @BCRCMP No notifications on the SFU snap app, no “stay away” tweet? This is the sort of thing we would like to know about in real time.— Joseph Egan (@Joseph Egan)1570576071.0
@SFU @BCRCMP How is it that only half the school is evacuated. There are police walking around with rifles drawn a… https://t.co/0do7CaK8Qg— Tara Ames (@Tara Ames)1570578166.0
Many people are calling out SFU for not acting appropriately in a serious situation.
@SFU @BCRCMP why wouldnt you issue a statement of at least caution so the people going through this in real time, o… https://t.co/YAfutkRx4L— willow (@willow)1570576335.0
*In an email from SFU to Narcity, the university stated that “safety of our community is SFU’s priority.” When there is a police incident like this on campus, SFU Safety Risk Services takes direction from the RMCP who are leading the response.
“As the situation evolves, details are not always clear. We try to share information as it is confirmed, and when and where it is appropriate and safe to do so,” wrote the email response for Mark Lalonde, Chief Safety Officer at SFU.
“When a campus-wide notification is needed, we have notification systems in place, but it is also important to note that it is not always safe to send out an alert as a situation is in progress.”
A similar instance like this occurred in Calgary not long ago. Just three weeks ago, the University of Calgary was under police investigation after a person was seen carrying a gun.
Thankfully, that gun was found out to be a paper mache replica. Following the police investigation, many students raised their concerns about how the response was handled.
Much like the SFU case, there was no notification given on the institution's emergency app.
Guns have been a common conversation topic this year, especially in the political realm. According to the Liberal government, the party plans to ban
The guns they are looking to ban are the same guns used by the two B.C. teens thatmanhunt.
*This article has been updated.