June 18th, 2024

Perpetrator in fake gun incident lucky to escape unscathed

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 9, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who faced police in an armed standoff with only a toy machine gun is lucky he didn’t get shot.

At about 10 a.m. on Dec. 29 of last year Tyler Darcy McNabb, 28, was seen pulling the machine gun from under his jacket and waving it around while hiding behind vehicles. Although the gun didn’t fire real ammunition, the orange tip at the end of the muzzle to show it’s a toy had been painted black, and the gun looked real.

Numerous police responded to the incident and cordoned off the area and, with guns drawn, repeatedly shouted at McNabb to show them his hands. One hand was in his pocket and the other holding cans of butane, his intoxicant of choice.

McNabb unzipped his jacket quickly and exposed the machine gun, which was dangling from a sling. He raised the gun in the air, ignoring commands to drop the gun until police were given the order to fire a less-lethal projectile at his legs.

“Just as they were about to do that, he finally puts the gun down and then begins puffing the butane that’s in the cans,” Crown Prosecutor James Rouleau said recently in Lethbridge provincial court, where McNabb pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

“Quite frankly, the person who was most likely to be injured in all of this was Mr. McNabb. He had guns pointed at him; it looked like he had a real machine gun, swinging it around in public. He’s lucky he wasn’t injured.”

McNabb also pleaded guilty to a subsequent charge of breaching a release order, which prohibited him from possessing any weapons.

On Oct. 13 of this year police received a report that a man was swinging around a knife outside a movie theatre. When police arrived McNabb was trying to hide behind a pillar and holding what looked like a large, curved sword.

Police aimed a non-lethal shotgun at the man and ordered him to drop the weapon. McNabb turned around and walked away with what also appeared to be a silver handgun, but was only a toy. McNabb surrendered to police shortly afterward.

Defence told court McNabb struggles with addictions, and was using butane at the time of his offences.

McNabb was sentenced to a total of 75 days in jail for both charges, minus some pre-trial credit. The sentence will run concurrent to a sentence he is currently serving and on which he has six days remaining.

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