1 suspect arrested, lockdown lifted at CEGEP in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

Police officers arrested a 19-year-old man Friday at a college in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal. (Radio-Canada - image credit)
Police officers arrested a 19-year-old man Friday at a college in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

Police have arrested a suspect as part of a large police operation at a CEGEP in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., — where students and staff were able to leave the building after being locked down for more than seven hours.

Students and staff at the CEGEP de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, located about 40 kilometres southeast of Montreal, received a message from school officials shortly after 9 a.m. Friday ordering them to barricade themselves into closed rooms and keep the lights off.

Local police arrested a 19-year-old male suspect, who police said was wearing a bulletproof vest and acting suspiciously in front of the CEGEP, around 10 a.m.

A second suspect, a female minor, was also questioned, police said.

Police spokesperson Jérémie Lévesque said there were no reported gunshots and police have no information on firearms or explosives in or near the school.

There were no injuries, though one pregnant woman was transported to hospital as a preventive measure, said Lévesque.

The lockdown was lifted shortly after noon Friday. Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu police called the Sûreté du Québec for backup and sniffer dogs are on the premises.

Police evacuated the school classroom by classroom and Lévesque said they will search bags and vehicles before students and staff leave the premises.

"We are not excluding the possibility that there is another suspect," he said.

According to a brief news release, the school said the lockdown order came at the request of the police force in the city.

Police established a security perimeter around the school and access to the premises is prohibited. The police operation ended later in the afternoon.

Nathalie Beaudoin, the CEGEP's managing director, said people are being asked to stay away from the school.

She said all school activities for the day were cancelled.