VICTORIA -- Mounties are shaking their heads after a BB gun was fired at a Nanaimo home, sparking a large-scale police response early Wednesday morning.

Nanaimo RCMP say that a “large contingent” of officers rushed to an apartment building in the 3100-block of Barons Road around 9:15 a.m. for reports of a gun being fired.

A witness had told police that she saw a man brandishing what appeared to be a rifle and heard a loud pop.

Officers quickly arrived at the scene and evacuated the witness. Mounties then located the man and approached him. The 66-year-old man led the officers into his apartment and showed them that he had recently purchased two BB guns for Christmas, one of which he decided to try out that morning.

“He foolishly decided to shoot at a tin can he had placed a short distance from his ground level balcony,” said Nanaimo RCMP in a release Wednesday.

“The officers promptly admonished him for his behaviour which caused seven officers to be diverted from their regular duties.”

Mounties say that “in the spirit of Christmas” officers decided not to charge the man or seize either of the BB guns. Police add that the man could have been fined $2,000 under a city bylaw that prohibits the discharge of any firearm, including compressed air or spring-loaded devices, within city limits.

Last week, two men were arrested for allegedly firing BB guns into Victoria’s Inner Harbour. During the arrest, carbon-fibre knuckles and bear spray were also found, alongside the BB guns, according to Victoria police.