Replica firearm uncovered at MSS not believed to be tied to threat made earlier this week

By on September 13, 2017
A police cruiser was stationed outside Merritt Secondary School earlier in September as a precaution after threats were made against the school. (Michael Potestio/Herald)

School District 58 is reporting an incident that occurred at Merritt Secondary School (MSS) today (Sept. 13) just days after a threat was made against the high school on social media.

Today’s incident, however, appears to be unrelated to that threat, which led to a former student being arrested last weekend and subsequently charged with uttering threats.

“There was a police incident at the school today that at this point appears to be unrelated to concerns raised earlier in the week,” said SD 58 superintendent Steve McNiven in a press release.

Precautionary measures of police patrols, increased supervision of students by staff and controlled entry to the high school via the main entrance have been in place this week due to that threat.

RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore said police were patrolling the area around the school today when some students reported seeing suspicious activity during the lunch break in the rear parking lot of the school.

An officer attended the scene and spoke with two students in the parking lot who had a replica firearm in their possession.

“They did have, in their vehicle, a replica firearm that was not used in any offence [and] was not used to threaten anybody,” said Dunsmore, adding that it was “bad timing to have something like that on site” given the threat that was made a few days ago.

Dunsmore said police are not laying charges, but disciplinary action may be taken by the school district. 

“We feel quite confident that it was not related to the incident earlier this week,” said Dunsmore.

Although initially in place on a day-to-day basis, McNiven told the Herald the school district will keep the precautionary measures in place for the remainder of the week.

“What we are doing is keeping these things in place while we complete our violent risk assessment procedures, and I think that helps support our students [and] staff in feeling safe at the school,” said McNiven.


This story was updated on Sept. 14 to include the fact the school district has extended the amount of time its precautionary measures will be in place at the high school.

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