The seizure of a loaded shotgun in the hands of young adults with gang connections makes the community safer, a senior Waterloo Regional Police officer said Tuesday. “This is a very significant seizure,” said Supt. Gary Askin. Acting on a tip, officers with the force’s guns and gangs unit on Monday night raided a house at 12 Louisa St., near King Street West. Inside they found a loaded shotgun, two replica guns, a flick knife, cattle prod, and $1,600 worth of crystal methamphetamine in bags ready for sale, as well as cable-tie handcuffs — items that were on display at police headquarters Tuesday. The house where the raid occurred is across the street from the 7-Eleven convenience store where three Kitchener men were shot and injured June 30. No arrests have been made in the shooting incident. “At this point we have no information to suggest a connection to the 7-Eleven shooting,” Askin said. Six men and one woman, all from Kitchener and ranging in age from 20 to 25, were arrested and charged with a number of offences including illegal possession of firearms, possession of dangerous weapons, careless storage of firearms and possession of illegal drugs. While Askin said police have made larger seizures, this one is significant because it involves young people with a history of violence who are allegedly members of a local street gang and were found with a drug that causes extreme paranoia. “This is the perfect storm for a potentially volatile situation to occur,” he said. “The community is a little bit safer today than it was yesterday because I can guarantee you that a violent situation would have occurred,” Askin said. The officer refused to identify the street gang, saying he didn’t want to give it any notoriety. He said there are currently 25 gangs in the region with a membership of about 340. Added to the danger to the community was the crystal methamphetamine found in the house. “They are young and unpredictable and they take drugs which make them more unpredictable,” Askin said. He said officers are now investigating the history of the seized guns and whether they are connected to any crimes.
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