The authorities in B.C. confirmed that the Metrotown Mall and SkyTrain station have been cleared of pipe bomb and shooting threats.
“Our @MVTPK9 team has cleared the Metrotown SkyTrain Station of the pipe bomb threat. Trains are now running through Metrotown but not stopping as we continue to assist @BurnabyRCMP in the area. Please continue to avoid the area,” the Metro Vancouver Transit Police tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), said Burnaby RCMP were initially called to the area to assist Transit Police with an investigation that forced the closure of the Metrotown SkyTrain Station just before 3 p.m.
The RCMP in a statement said “Around the same time, a report was received about a possible person with a gun, with shots possibly being fired, in the mall.”
Burnaby RCMP officers assisted with securing and evacuating the mall to ensure the safety of the public. The public was urged to avoid the area, the staetment said, adding that a careful grid search was then conducted inside the mall, with the assistance of the Emergency Response Team.
The statement further added “No threat was found, and there were no injuries. The incident at Metrotown Station was also determined to be unfounded.”
The mall was given the all-clear around 6:30 p.m. It’s expected the mall will remain closed to the public on Friday evening
Burnaby RCMP is investigating the source of the call, and whether the incident was related to swatting, where fake emergency calls are made to provoke a large response from police and other agencies. Swatting is a criminal offence in Canada.
Port Moody Police are also investigating an unfounded incident that happened in that city on Friday, RCMP said, adding that one suspect has been arrested in connection to that incident.
Investigators are working together to determine if there are links between the cases, and whether the same suspect may be responsible.