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Gunman ditches shooting plans after meeting dog
CTV.ca News Staff
An unemployed man from New Brunswick who planned to go on a shooting rampage in Toronto's Beaches area reportedly changed his mind after meeting a friendly dog.
Police say that the man headed to the picturesque area of the city Wednesday afternoon in a car loaded with a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition. He told police he was bent on randomly shooting people in the waterfront park to ensure that he would get sent to prison for life.
But as he got out of his car, a friendly dog ran up to him, looking to play. That's apparently when the man changed his mind.
"He happens to be a pet lover, and decided that since there was such a nice dog in the area, that people were too nice and he wasn't going to carry out his plan," explained Toronto Police Det. Nick Ashley.
The man got back into his car and drove around until he found a police officer in front of a supermarket. He told the officer he had a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his pocket and wanted to surrender to the police.
"He came up to me and said he was armed," Const. Fraser Douglas, 25, told a news conference Wednesday night. "He said he needed to go to the hospital because he was crazy."
During a search of his car, police found moer than 6,200 rounds of ammunition, along with two rifles, a 12-gauge shotgun, a six-shot revolver and an air rifle. They also found a machete, a large hunting knife, a small throwing knife, targets, and a camouflage mask and netting.
Ashley says it was the biggest single arsenal he had seen in his 17 years on the police force.
"It's scary how close it could have been," Ashley said. "We have a dog to thank somewhere."
Police say all the weapons were legally purchased and registered.
The car also contained doggie blankets and a big plastic dog dish still filled with dry kibble for his dog that he had left back in New Brunswick
James Paul Stanson, 43, is facing several charges, including: carrying a concealed weapon, possession of ammunition for a dangerous purpose, careless storage of a firearm, careless storage of ammunition, unauthorized presence of a firearm in a motor vehicle and unauthorized presence of ammunition in a motor vehicle.
He faces no charges related to his rampage plans.