A male youth won’t be facing charges after police believed the 16-year-old was in possession of a handgun and had possibly barricaded himself in his Dartmouth apartment.

In the end, the youth didn’t have a handgun — it was a pellet gun — and he wasn’t inside the fifth floor apartment at 14 Churchill Ct., where more than a dozen officers descended for the potential standoff situation.

“We had to treat this very seriously. We had to take the information very seriously,” Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman Theresa Rath said after the ordeal ended around 8 p.m. last night.

Police felt they were dealing with a more serious situation as at just before 4 p.m., they received a report from a female inside the apartment who claimed the youth was in possession of a handgun.

Rath said the adult family friend wasn’t threatened by the youth, but “feared for her safety.”

Police say the woman left the apartment and called police, who arrived on scene and attempted several times to make contact with the youth, who they felt could still be inside and alone with a gun.

Rath said they had conflicting reports from family members over whether the youth may be inside the apartment or had gone somewhere else before they arrived.

The police’s emergency response team was on scene for several hours along with crisis negotiators. At 7:45 p.m., officers entered the apartment, but around the same time, the youth contacted his parents to let them know he was at a different location and wanted to turn himself in.

He agreed to meet police and his parents at a parking lot on nearby Caledonia Road.

“We wished he would have contacted his parents sooner because it would have allowed us to clear this up a lot sooner,” Rath said. “But we’re just glad it has ended peacefully.”

Rath said when police found a pellet gun when they searched the apartment.

After more than an hour in custody, police issued a release saying the youth wouldn’t be facing charges and the parents had “relinquished the pellet gun to police for destruction.”

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