NEWS
08/20/2014 08:09 EDT | Updated 10/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Jason Keith Gillespie facing firearms charge after pellet gun incident

Halifax Regional Police say the 35-year-old man arrested yesterday who was carrying several pellet guns in a Clayton Park neighbourhood is now facing criminal charges. 

Police say Jason Keith Gillespie of Halifax faces charges of possession of weapons dangerous to the public peace and mischief.

Police say he was held in custody overnight before this morning's court appearance.

Const. Pierre Bourdages says police received two separate reports yesterday of the man, who was spotted near Westridge Drive.

In the first report at 9:24 a.m. AT, a witness saw a man wearing camouflage clothes carrying what appeared to be a long gun on a path near the end of Westridge Drive. 

A short time later, police received a second report of a man who had one or two long guns walking on the path in the area of Veronica Drive and Main Avenue. 

When arrested, the man was carrying what appeared to be a number of assault rifles. Police say they were actually pellet guns. Police said he was also wearing what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest over his camouflage gear.

The man exited a trail system in the neighbourhood of Clayton Park and turned himself in to police at 10:25 a.m. AT.

"This situation caused fear and disruption to our community and involved a significant use of police resources. The citizens who reported the incident did the right thing by reporting this matter to 911 and when police receive a report of weapon, we must operate under the assumption that the weapon is real until we are able to prove otherwise," said Bourdages in a news release.

"As one of our Twitter followers aptly put it, 'The guns may not have been real but the fear was.'"

Bourdages also said Tuesday's incident is a good reminder for gun enthusiasts about the importance of taking necessary precautions while using real or imitation firearms.