RCMP respond to call for ‘gunshots’ at northern Alberta church

When police arrived, officers determined there had been no actual gunfire after locating a plastic toy gun.

ST. PAUL, Alta. – St. Paul RCMP confirmed to have received a call for service regarding gunshots heard at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday, September 11 between 11:00 a.m. and 11:09 a.m.

Kellieka Formanek, Detachment Services Assistant and Media Relations Officer at St. Paul Detachment, says when police arrived, officers determined there were no firearms, no shot and that there was no real threat.

“It was a plastic toy gun that was located,” Formanek said.

No arrests or charges have been made against the individual carrying the toy gun.

Prof. Andrew Schoenberger is the priest of the Catholic Church. He was not present at the time of the incident as he was attending other churches in the diocese over the weekend. According to Schoenberger, Fr. Marvin Tanquerido presided over Mass on Sunday.

Schoenberger said he heard volunteers were involved, who responded “admirably” and remained calm about the situation, making sure everyone was safe when the individual with the toy gun came out .

“I know some people have been disturbed by the situation and it will probably trigger a discussion about what we will do in the future,” Schoenberger said. He explained that he was not in favor of the church being locked down because the church should be open to everyone.

“We don’t want to live in fear, and we also have to keep in mind the safety of our people – all of us.”

Schoenberger added that he believed everyone should continue to follow the command to “love your neighbor and love God”, and to remain hospitable and open to others, while exercising due diligence and proper care. at any time.

“Make sure we take care of each other in a careful and thoughtful way, and we’ll be fine,” he said. “I am worried about [the community] and I want to travel with them as best I can and find a way forward.

When asked if those involved at St. Paul’s Catholic Church had discussed any contingency plans or precautions following the incident, Schoenberger said there had not yet been opportunity to discuss. But he agreed it would be something to consider and discuss.

Martha J. Finley