A 12-year-old Ajax boy faces 19 charges after he was found with a loaded handgun on Thursday, Durham Region police say.
The gun was seized after police received a call around 3 p.m. from residents who reported seeing a young man with a weapon near Rossland Rd. W. and Westney Rd. N.
An officer followed a citizen’s tip and found the youth on his bike near a ravine, according to police. A chase ensued and the officer had to order the boy to show his hands after he reached into his waistband. It was at that point that a loaded .38 calibre gun was tossed over a fence and the suspect was arrested.
“It’s a very rare occurrence for us to be dealing with someone of that age and criminal charges that serious,” said Durham police spokesman Dave Selby, who acknowledged the boy is known to police.
After completing their investigation, officers connected the youth to a grocery store robbery on Wednesday. A female employee was pushed to the floor and several male suspects fled with cash during the incident. No weapon was seen during the robbery, Selby said.
The boy, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, faces several robbery and weapon charges, including careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm obtained by crime and eight counts of failing to comply with recognizance.