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Firecrackers in POCO mistaken for shots fired prompt investigation

Last Updated Jun 6, 2018 at 9:55 am PST

FILE - Coquitlam RCMP. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Coquitlam RCMP says an investigation into reports of shots fired Wednesday morning may have been caused by firecrackers

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – It turns out those reports of shots being fired in Port Coquitlam may have been nothing more than firecrackers.

Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael Michael McLaughlin says officers got a call about potential gunshots from concerned residents around 4:30 Wednesday morning.

“We had to launch a full investigation, involve a lot of police officers, and after searching a very large wooded area, we came across a case of used firecrackers.”

The investigation prompted a number of school closures and Hold and Secure precautions.

“These were the sorts of firecrackers that sound very, very similar to a firearm,” he explains. “It really impresses upon you the point that if you’re going to do something like this, you need to think twice about the ramification of your actions.”

The incident caused a major disruption. “Three schools were affected by this call, and of course many residents in the area were concerned and they couldn’t use the wooded areas and trails as our police officers had to make sure the area was safe.”

McLaughlin says dozens of police officers were involved in the file, which did involve a lot of resources.

“We have to take reports of gunshots in an urban area very seriously — which naturally we do,” he says. “It’s a shame that it was essentially a thoughtless action that caused this in the first place.”

Police have not yet identified who may have been behind setting the firecrackers.

“It’s a shame they chose to do so because it sure caused a lot of disruption for a lot of people.”