Ridge Meadows RCMP have lifted a lockdown at two school in east Maple Ridge following a police incident in the neighbourhood Thursday afternoon.
Students at Garibaldi Secondary and nearby Blue Mountain elementary were told to stay inside while police searched the area after receiving a report about a man with a firearm around 12:16 p.m.
The lockdown was precautionary, said to Irena Pochop, manager of communications for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District. It only lasted about 20 minutes.
“All students and staff were safe. The lockdown has been lifted,” Pochop added.
According to Ridge Meadows RCMP, a passerby spotted three young men seated in the back of a pickup truck talking to a pair of girls in a parking lot near 248th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road.
The passerby, who was in a car, saw one of the men pull out what looked like a handgun and point it at one of the girls.
Insp. Dan Splinter said the young man with the gun saw he had been noticed by the passerby and immediately hid the weapon.
The group then fled the area.
Police flooded the area, sending up to 10 cruisers to search the neighbourhood. Officers continue to look for the suspect.
“We are asking anyone who has knowledge about what went down here to call us,” Splinter added.
“Chances are it could be really innocent. It would be nice if they could contact us.”
Police noted staff at Garibaldi heard an air soft pistol being fired in the area earlier in the day. Splinter also noted the witness told officers the girl did not appear to be alarmed when the “gun” was pointed at her.
RCMP added that detachments across Canada are on “heightened alert” because of the ongoing hunt for a heavily armed man who killed three Mounties and injured two yesterday in Moncton, New Brunswick.