Nanaimo man officially charged for making fake 911 calls about school shooting
Thirty-four-year-old Aaron Edward Craig of Nanaimo has been formally charged with public mischief for allegedly making several fake 911 calls last week about a school shooting.
Craig appeared in Nanaimo Provincial Court on Friday and was also formally charged with breach of court order and breach of probation. He remains in police custody as of Monday.
The bogus calls were made shortly after 1 p.m. last Thursday. At that time, Craig allegedly made several fake 911 calls to the Nanaimo RCMP about shots being fired at a local school – and that there were multiple casualties. The caller did not indicate which school was reportedly involved, and only provided police a five-block radius in south Nanaimo.
Fairview Elementary and Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS) were immediately notified and placed in a lockdown.
Students at the elementary school had already been dismissed due to parent teacher interviews, and there were no concerns at their locations.
At NDSS, school liaison officers worked quickly to ensure that staff and students were safe and secure inside the school. However, no emergencies or suspicious activities had been reported at NDSS.
"When the officers involved were satisfied that it appeared the calls were a hoax, the investigation moved towards identifying who was responsible," said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP in a statement Friday.
The North Island Operations Communications Centre was able to trace the location of the phone using cellphone technology and police databases. It determined who the phone was registered to and what vehicles were associated to the hoax caller.
By 2 p.m., officers were able to locate Craig, his vehicle and the phone on Howard Avenue.
Craig has been remanded until Tuesday Nov. 2, 2021.