Centennial Park shooting that forced schools into lockdown didn't happen, RCMP say

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On May 13, RCMP urged Moncton residents to stay inside after receiving a report of shots fired in the Centennial Park area. (Tori Weldon/CBC - image credit)
On May 13, RCMP urged Moncton residents to stay inside after receiving a report of shots fired in the Centennial Park area. (Tori Weldon/CBC - image credit)

A Shediac Cape man has been arrested in connection with a report last week of shots being fired in the Centennial Park area of Moncton, which police sealed off for the day while they investigated.

Police now say the report was false.

On May 13, Codiac RCMP got a report at about 8:30 a.m. that a vehicle had been struck by bullets. Several schools went into lockdown, police issued an Alert Ready message, and residents were told to lock their doors and stay inside below window level.

But on Friday, RCMP issued a news release saying their investigation determined there had been no shooting near Centennial Park.

A 36-year-old man arrested because of the allegedly false report has been released from custody and is to appear Aug. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Moncton Provincial Court.

"We know people have many questions still — as have we — but that is information that will have to come out through the court process," said Cpl. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP.

In the news release, Ouellet said Codiac Regional RCMP were told a vehicle was struck by bullets near Millennium Boulevard and Killam Drive.

More than an hour and a half later, police issued an Alert Ready message that wasn't lifted until about 6 p.m. that day.

An "exhaustive search of the area was conducted without the discovery of any evidence to warrant keeping the area contained," Ouellet said in the release.

Throughout the day of searching, police did not elaborate on the .gunshot report or say it was about bullets allegedly fired into a vehicle.

"We operate on the information we have at the time," Ouellet said. "Given the seriousness of the report, the RCMP acted in the best interests of public safety by containing the area and issuing an Alert Ready message."

Police said the investigation is continuing,

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