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Gold Coast Gun Scare

Japanese tourist with toy gun sparks police emergency

Jul 31, 2011

A teenage boy from Japan playing with a replica BB gun sparked a police emergency as police in bulletproof vests swarmed Southport.

Witness Kristy spotted the teenager near Brighton Parade as she was driving past with her family.

She saw the boy clip a magazine into the gun and take aim at a number of objects.

''I was pretty freaked out, it looked real to me,'' Kristy said.

''He clipped in a magazine, rested the gun on his arm and started aiming it.''

Kristy contacted police and followed the boy to the Meriton Apartments in Aqua Street.

After a strong of violent shooting on the Glitter Strip, police took every possible precaution.

The tourist mecca has been rattled by a spate of recent shootings and armed robberies, most notably the shooting death of Detective Damian Leeding.

In response, the government has announced a special taskforce, a month-long police blitz, which started last night, and the purchase of a police helicopter.

Officers donned bullet proof vests and cordoned off the streets and ordered people in the Meriton to stay inside their apartments while police searched door-to-door.

The 14-year-old was found in his his family's holiday apartment and had no idea of the situation he had caused.

Police said he barely spoke any English.

The officers found and confiscate the replica weapon which officers said would ''look genuine'' at first glance.

''It looks real alright,'' said one officer.

The teenager was taken in for questioning by detectives and was likely to be cautioned on a charge of going armed in public so as to cause fear.

He will not be required appear before a court.

Onlookers who watched the drama unfold said they understood and agreed with police.

''Well, you wouldn't take any chances would you?'' said Mary Shepherd.

''After all the shootings and stabbings, I reckon I'd be wearing a vest too. The city just isn't the same.'' she said.

Japanese tourist with toy gun sparks police emergency
A detective leads away a youth who was allegedly waving a replica gun / Photo by Mike Batterham


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