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

National championship tees off Tuesday at Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Club

Oldest 18-hole course in Canada in its original location hosts Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship

New Victoria bus routes bound for airport, Camosun College

Bus routes and schedules are about to change this fall, and two… Continue reading

Michael Silberbauer named first coach of Pacific FC

The Island’s James Merriman named assistant coach

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

Salmon Fest serves up support for Kiwanis Pavilion

Scrumptious fundraiser enjoys success for second year

VIDEO: Car wash raises funds for Tour de Rock

Second car wash is set for Sept 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Oak Bay High, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

UPDATE: Saanich Police seek to identify suspect in sexual assault

Assault occurred in broad daylight in tent near Ravine Way

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Most Read