A St. Albert high school student is facing weapons charges after threatening a classmate with a fake gun.
In the afternoon on Monday Oct. 30, a teen brought a fake handgun to class at St. Albert Catholic High School. The RCMP arrested the student later that evening and seized the fake gun from his home.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is facing charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and uttering threats.
Under Canadian law anyone who uses an imitation weapon to commit a crime is subject to the same penalties as using a real weapon.
The teen is slated to appear in St. Albert Youth Court on Jan. 2.
On Oct. 31 the St. Albert Catholic School Division and St. Albert RCMP met with partner agencies to use the principles of the Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) model to assess the situation and develop a plan to ensure the safety of all students at the school.
“The safety of our students is of utmost importance to the St. Albert Catholic School Division, St. Albert Catholic High School and the St. Albert RCMP,” said St. Albert RCMP Corp. Laurel Kading in a press release.
“The introduction of the Violence Threat Risk Assessment model to St. Albert has allowed our school and community partners to work together to effectively address cases of violence while helping perpetrators change their destructive behaviours.”
Edmonton police handled 1,160 complaints involving imitation guns in 2014. In 2015, the number climbed and imitation guns were involved in 1,598 Edmonton police investigations.
The Edmonton police recommend never playing with an imitation gun in a public place, including malls, parks and schools. They suggest never pointing an imitation gun at another person, even as a joke. They also suggest keeping imitation guns out of sight and locked in a case to prevent misunderstanding and accidents.