Parent praises Calgary's Genesis Centre staff for 'amazing' lockdown procedure
Police were called to the northeast Calgary recreation centre Thursday evening for reports of a gun
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A Calgary parent is applauding the staff at the Genesis Center after a gun scare sent the rec-center into lockdown on Thursday evening.
Cory Abel, president of Deerfoot United Soccer Club, was at the Genesis Center with his wife to watch their son play soccer when the incident occurred.
“We heard them say lockdown and then they pulled the players from the field very quickly and got them into the dressing rooms that you need a key card to access,” he said.
Abel said staff attempted to have the parents who were sitting above the field escorted out, but he wanted to check on his son’s team downstairs.
“I said ‘I’m not leaving without my kids,’ so I went down to see what was going on and talked to the team who was all OK,” he said.
When Abel and his wife were leaving the dressing room another staff member ushered them into the bathroom.
“We asked her what was going on and she said ‘apparently there are two guys with guns in the building,’” he said.
“So we went to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes until they gave the all clear.”
Genesis Center executive director Brad Anderson said staff called police after receiving reports of a youth with a gun.
“The whole incident was resolved after about 5 minutes when we were notified,” he said.
Police confirmed they were called to the Genesis Center around 7 p.m. on Thursday.
“We were called after reports that a gun fell out of a person’s pocket. When our officers arrived they detained two males and determined that the one male was carrying an airsoft gun,” said police spokesman Corwin Odland.
Odland said the airsoft gun was confiscated and one of the youth—both are males in their teens— was issued a violation ticket, but no charges are pending.
Abel said he was extremely impressed with the way the Genesis Center handled the situation.
“The staff at Genesis that were ushering us around downstairs did a fabulous job,” he said. “How quickly they followed procedure was amazing.”
Abel said the situation definitely had parents slightly on edge.
“It just throws them through a loop,” he said.
“Especially with everything going on in the US right now—just last week another mass shooting in Texas, and someone driving through people in New York—so when you hear the word gun people get into that scared mindset.“
Once the lockdown was lifted, Abel said the game was able to carry on without any further disturbances.