Student, 15, in critical condition after shooting at Toronto high school
A Grade 10 student has been rushed to hospital with critical injuries following a shooting at a high school in Toronto.
The shooting happened in a parking lot outside Weston Collegiate Institute just after 12 p.m.
Duty. Insp. Ryan Forde said investigators believe the 15-year-old student had just exited the school building when he was approached by a group of males in a vehicle and shot in “the upper chest area.”
“After he was shot he ran back into the school, where he was tended to by teachers and faculty,” Forde told reporters. “The victim was subsequently transported to a local trauma centre where he is currently in critical care.”
Forde said investigators are not in a position to release a description of the suspects or the suspect vehicle at this time, but are canvassing the surrounding neighbourhood for “witnesses and video footage.”
He said there were a number of students in the area at the time of the shooting, as lunch break had just begun. However, it is not clear whether any of those students actually witnessed the shooting.
“The suspect information at this time is just that unknown males drove by and obviously shot this gentleman. They made good on their escape in an unknown direction,” he said. “This is a residential area. So if there is any homeowners in the area who have either dash cam or residential camera footage that would be greatly appreciated.”
Lockdown lifted after about two hours
Weston Collegiate Institute was placed under a lockdown immediately following the shooting.
That order was then lifted just after 2 p.m. and students were taken to two nearby elementary schools for the remainder of the day.
Toronto high school locked down after student shot outside
Toronto District School Board spokesperson Ryan Bird told reporters staff spent the afternoon doing everything they could to “keep as great a sense of normalcy as possible.”
But he conceded the incident will have an impact on many members of the school community, especially those who rendered aid to the boy prior to the arrival of paramedics.
“Obviously after something like this happens that's got to be tremendously difficult. So we'll be reaching out to make sure that we're providing support not only for the staff directly impacted following the injury but also to students and staff elsewhere in the school,” he said.
School was cleared by Emergency Task Force officers
Bird told reporters there are a number of security cameras both inside and outside of the school, however he was not able to say whether any of those are facing the parking lot where the shooting transpired.
He said the school was cleared by members of the Emergency Task Force but will remain largely off limits while police continue to investigate at the scene.
It is unclear whether that will impact the resumption of classes tomorrow.
“Obviously we are thinking of the student who is injured today,” Bird said. “We are thinking of him, his family, his loved ones and the staff and students here at the school right now.”
The shooting is just the latest violent incident to occur at a GTA school in recent months.
In October, two people were shot in front of Woburn Collegiate Institute in Scarborough just after students were dismissed for the day. One of them, 18-year-old Jefferson Peter Shardeley Guerrier, was later pronounced dead.
A few weeks later a 17-year-old student at Birchmount Park Collegiate sustained life-threatening injuries after a stabbing inside that school.
The rash of violence prompted Mayor John Tory to convene a meeting with representatives from the TDSB as well as police and city staff to discuss how to respond.
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