Two youths arrested, third surrenders, in relation to firearms incident near high school
© Photo by Bonnie Learning/The Labradorian
Three people walking the walking/bike trail near Mealy Mountain Collegiate last evening, got quite a shock, when they encountered three youths with what appeared to be firearms. At least one shot was fired, as RCMP recovered a .22 calibre cartridge from the scene. No one was physically harmed in the incident. RCMP continue to investigate and are seeking assistance in identifying those involved.
An 18-year old adult male surrendered himself to the Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP detachment on the afternoon of Aug. 20, in relation to firearms incident on Aug. 18.
“He is presently in custody while we continue our investigation,” said S/Sgt. Don Rogers on Aug. 20.
“There are no charges at this time but we expect to lay charges related to careless use of a firearm. We have not yet recovered the firearm.”
The RCMP made two arrests earlier in relation to the incident that occurred near Mealy Mountain Collegiate on Monday evening, Aug. 18.
Two males — one 17 year old and one 16-year old — were arrested by police late Tuesday, Aug. 19, in connection with the incident.
“The cooperation of the public has been very crucial to the investigation,” said S/Sgt. Don Rogers, saying police received a number of tips from the public who came forward and helped identify these individuals.
“This is an excellent example of the public supporting the police to help keep our community safe,” he said.
Rogers said the investigation is continuing and he hopes to be able to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion.
Due to the provisions of the Young Offenders Act, the youths cannot be identified,” he notes. “They have been released from custody to their parents. They will be subject to a number of conditions and will be appearing in Youth Court at a later date.”
A complaint about the firearms incident was received by the RCMP from three women who were walking along the side of Mealy Mountain Collegiate on the walking/bike trail around 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 18.
The RCMP said the three adults were walking on the southeast side of the building, when one of the individuals felt a rush of air go past her and simultaneously, the trio heard an impact on the tin siding of the building.
The three began to look around for the source of what they believed to be a pellet or gunshot and observed three male youths in the nearby skateboard park. The three went and confronted the youths, two of whom immediately fled the area. A third youth remained on scene and spoke to the women briefly before leaving.
RCMP attended the scene and made patrols for the suspects but were not able to locate them at the time.
“I can confirm we did recover a .22 caliber cartridge from the scene, but did not locate a firearm,” said Rogers.
“So we can’t say a firearm was involved for sure at this point; it could have been a homemade device or other object. But either way, it was extremely dangerous for the users of the device and for the passers-by.”
Four bullet holes were found in the side of Mealy Mountain Collegiate.
The suspect youths were hanging out in the skateboard park near the ball diamonds adjacent to the bike path. It appears they had been there for some time as evidence recovered at the scene supports this belief.
“I am very concerned that we have a number of youths who appear to have been using some kind of firearm or other device. This activity is not only illegal but exceptionally dangerous and we are fortunate to not have had an injury. The fact that this activity occurred in a area frequented by families and is very close to residential homes and pathways is very disturbing,” said Rogers.
RCMP will be patrolling the area more frequently but are asking anyone with information on this incident to contact the Goose Bay RCMP at (709) 896-3383 or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if Police make an arrest and lay charges as result of the tip, callers qualify for a cash award of up to $2000.