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Lockdown lifts at Toronto high schools hours after reports of former student with a gun

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-12-06 CBC/Radio-Canada

Police have lifted an hours-long lockdown at two high schools in Toronto's High Park area on Thursday after reports of a person with a gun. 

No shots were fired, but one student was treated by paramedics at the scene. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

Officers searched Western Technical-Commerical School on Evelyn Crescent, in the area of Runnymede Road and Annette Street, after responding to a call around 10 a.m. from staff who said a student reported seeing a man with a gun.

Police believe the suspect is an 18-year-old former student of the school, said spokesperson Katrina Arrogante.

Toronto police Sgt. Sal Granata told reporters at the scene he anticipates investigators will make an arrest shortly in the case. It's not immediately clear if any charges will be laid. 

Granata said the suspect had a gun according to witnesses and security video.

Western Technical-Commercial School, Ursula Franklin Academy and The Student School (which are in the same building) were locked down for nearly five hours. The procedure was lifted just before 3 p.m. 

Ryan Bird, spokesperson for Toronto District School Board (TDSB), said other schools nearby —  Annette Street Public School, Humberside Collegiate Institute, Keele Street Public School, Mountainview Alternative Junior School and Runnymede Public School — were in hold and secure mode as a precaution, and school life continued as normal inside classrooms. 

"We are treating it seriously," he told CBC Toronto. 

The hold and secure at the schools is in the process of being lifted, Bird said, and the school day will be dismissed as usual.

Police searched Western Technical-Commercial School, shown here, and Ursula Franklin Academy after receiving a report of a man with a gun. © Kelda Yuen/CBC Police searched Western Technical-Commercial School, shown here, and Ursula Franklin Academy after receiving a report of a man with a gun.

Lockdown procedures are activated in cases of serious emergency where there is a threat inside or very near to the school, according to the TDSB's website. Students are kept in classrooms or other designated spots away from the threat. 

In hold-and-secure situations, the outer school doors are locked and students and staff are encouraged to stay in classrooms, the school board says. 

Thursday marks the 29th anniversary of the attack at École Polytechnique in Montreal that left 14 women dead and 10 others wounded when a gunman entered a classroom with an assault rifle. This is the worst mass shooting massacre in Canada's history. 

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