Witnesses reported hearing gunshots shortly after 10 p.m. PT. The sound turned out to be non-lethal rounds from the shotgun.
Officers were called to the plaza following reports of a knife-wielding man who was trying to rob people, police said in a statement. They found a robbery victim with a slash wound to his hand and began hunting the assailant.
"The suspect had fled the scene but was located by officers on the west side of the plaza a short time later," said Sgt Randy Fincham. "Police utilized a bean bag shotgun to arrest the uncooperative man."
The takedown occurred in the waterfront area around Bute Street and Thurlow Street near the seawall.
Tourists from Germany, who were walking along the Seawall, said a man with a knife tried to rob them, but appeared to be on drugs and got distracted before he could make off with any of their possessions.
Police say the man is in custody and is facing a number of charges related to the robbery.
A small amount of blood could be seen on the pathway.
MAP: Jack Poole Plaza