Police say that they anticipate an arrest will be made in a “very short time” after a former student was reportedly seen with a gun inside Western Technical Commercial School on Thursday morning.
Toronto police were first dispatched to the school, located near Bloor Street and Runnymede Road, at around 10 a.m. after receiving a call about a male who was seen “with some type of firearm.”
The school was immediately placed under a lockdown, along with Ursula Franklin Academy and The Student School, which are both located in the same building.
That lockdown was then lifted at around 2:45 p.m., after officers with the Emergency Task Force (ETF) completed a thorough search of the building.
“Our investigation is still ongoing and we anticipate an arrest in a very short time,” Sgt. Sal Granata told reporters outside the school on Thursday afternoon. “We are going to be actively doing our part on the investigative side in ensuring the person responsible is brought to justice.”
Granata said that police did not recover any firearm but believe the initial report to be genuine based on the accounts of witnesses and what officers “have seen on video.”
He said that the students were not released until the school was searched “top to bottom” and a determination was made that there was no active threat.
One video that was obtained by CP24 shows students huddled in a dark classroom when an ETF member, carrying what appears to be an automatic weapon, enters and does a sweep of the room.
“It was a great job and a safe ending for everyone here involved,” Granata said. “We are thankful of the outcome tonight.”
Suspect believed to be a former student
Granata previously told reporters that the suspect is “male, non-white,” approximately 18 years old and about five-foot-eight. Granata also said the male is a former student of the school.
One woman whose grandchild attends the Children’s Creative Corner daycare located inside the building told press earlier in the day that the whole situation is “scary.”
“I am terrified, I am shaking,” she said.
Keele Street Public School, Runnymede Public School, Annette Street Public School and Humberside Collegiate Institute were also placed under hold and secure orders during the police investigation. Those orders have since been lifted.