Brothers Karl and Tylor Lofstrom were getting exercise playing airsoft north of Ladysmith on Wednesday night when a hunter they encountered called RCMP to report that the men may be carrying real guns.

Ladysmith brothers playing airsoft spurs ‘heavy’ RCMP response

A RCMP helicopter circled overhead and two road blocks were setup while the Emergency Response Team and service dogs scoured the brush north of Ladysmith on Wednesday night.

A couple of brothers had recently arrived back home and decided on their mom’s advice to walk down the road still wearing their camo fatigue pants and reluctantly ask police: ‘are you looking for us?’

Earlier at around 6 p.m., Tylor and Karl Lofstrom left their home near the Timberlands Pub, just west of the Nanaimo Airport, and crossed the road into the brush, as they’ve done for several years, to play airsoft- a sport that involves participants firing biodegradable BBs from a non-lethal gun.

The young men, ages 18 and 23, have built a fort back in the woods where they run around dressed in full camo gear usually with four or five friends.

However, shortly after leaving home this time the young men passed a curious hunter who they chatted with briefly as one of the brothers passed him his airsoft rifle and explained its purpose.

“The police officer told us that it was a hunter that reported it because he could tell it was a real gun by the indent it was making on his shoulder and how heavy it was so they had to follow through and come out here,” mother Linda Lofstrom told the Chronicle Thursday morning.

Ladysmith and Nanaimo RCMP confirmed that they responded to a report of two males dressed in “combat gear carrying rifles” walking on Timberlands Road.

The ERT, RCMP Air 8 as well as the K9 unit all descended on Cassidy as road blocks were set up at Cameron and Vowels roads.

Some quickly jumped to unfounded assumptions on social media claiming that there had been a shooting at a nearby worship centre.

About 20 minutes after arriving home the brothers received a text from a friend about the heavy police presence and Linda suggested they check in with officers just to be sure.

“They were warned about the dangers of their actions,” said Cpl. Bob Purslow. “There was a heavy police response (from officers) who take these calls seriously and will consider the guns real until determined otherwise.”

Police asked that the young men be a bit more discreet while playing airsoft and not walk along the road carrying their guns.

In the future the brothers have also decided to place poster boards at the roadsize informing that will read ‘Airsoft match in progress.’

Linda said she understands the fear but also wants people not to jump to assumptions and know her sons are simply getting exercise.

“They’re not being troublemakers,” she said. “They’re bored and just want to get out there and do something. I think it’s awesome to be that age and want to just run around the bush rather than sitting at home for hours gaming.”

Just Posted

Launch party for Vancouver Island’s new soccer team a success

Over 3,000 seats will be added to Westhills Stadium in the next 6 months

Two people rescued after falling from lifeboat at Ogden Point

Crew members of the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship fell into the water Thursday night

Saanich pedestrian incidents reflect recent trends

76% of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections

Online blasting video helps ease Sooke residents concerns

Complaints of dust ongoing since 2017

Son of missing Oak Bay woman asks for continued public support

‘Because she is still out there, somewhere’

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Zone 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Most Read