Shoppers and downtown workers got to see some mid-afternoon drama up close yesterday afternoon, as police took down a man with a handgun at the ground-level escalators at City Centre Mall.
Around 3 p.m., a group of uniformed officers surrounded the white male, wrestled him down on the escalator and handcuffed him. A pair of officers were seen walking from the area carrying a black handgun.
A witness who spoke with police and preferred to remain anonymous told Metro the suspect approached a group of people on 101 Street waiting for buses and asked for a cigarette. During conversation with the suspect, the witness alleged, he showed the firearm to people at the stop, and went back into the mall afterward.
“I immediately phoned 911, because I didn’t want anyone getting hurt,” the witness said.
Housaam Shykho, a manager at Le Chateau in the mall, saw the officers subduing the suspect, but thought it was for a very different matter.
“I was standing here (in the store) and a guy grabbed two coats, so I was checking up on that,” Shykho told Metro. He was surprised when police opened a backpack and pulled out a firearm.
“I thought they were going to take my jackets out and they pulled out a gun,” he said, at which point he figured it wasn’t the same man.
Police confirmed a man was taken into custody after receiving a call about a male with a gun, although police wouldn’t confirm that the man was armed.