Boy, 13, charged after allegedly pointing toy gun at students in middle school bathroom

Lanor Junior Middle School, located in west-end Toronto, is shown here. A 13-year-old boy is accused of pointing a toy gun at two students in the school in separate incidents on Tuesday. He has been charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon. (CBC - image credit)
Lanor Junior Middle School, located in west-end Toronto, is shown here. A 13-year-old boy is accused of pointing a toy gun at two students in the school in separate incidents on Tuesday. He has been charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon. (CBC - image credit)

A 13-year-old boy has been charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon after he allegedly pointed what turned out to be a toy gun at two other students and demanded money from them in a Toronto middle school bathroom, police say.

In a news release on Wednesday, Toronto police said officers have seized the "replica toy firearm."

No one was injured in the two separate incidents on Tuesday at at Lanor Junior Middle School, located at 450 Lanor Ave., just east of Brown's Line and south of the Gardiner Expressway  The boy is due to appear in court on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

According to police, the boy pointed what appeared to be gun and demanded money from one student in the bathroom, then did the same thing later with another student.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-2200, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

In a letter to parents and caregivers, Robert Nigro, principal of the school, said he retrieved the toy gun from the student.

"Yesterday, I was told by a student near the time of dismissal that he'd been shown a toy cap gun in the boys' bathroom. This allegation was taken very seriously," Nigro said in the letter.

" As soon as I had this information my priority was student and staff safety. All students were in class and the hallways were clear. I retrieved the item immediately and confirmed it was in fact a toy. This was done in a matter of minutes, prior to the dismissal bell at the end of the day."

Nigro said he also found out that more than one student had witnessed one of the incidents.

"As this matter is currently under police investigation, we are not able to share much additional information at this time, but please rest assured we are taking every step, in line with our policies and procedures, to ensure our school remains a safe learning and work environment for students and staff."

Mayor John Tory, in a statement on Wednesday, said he found the incidents "deeply troubling."

"I don't know why anyone would carry a replica gun to school, let alone a real gun — this is deeply troubling. This may well represent a problem of a different kind," he said.

"I continue to advocate for mental health supports to both the provincial and federal governments to ensure that the responsibility of mental health care is not offloaded to municipalities," he added.

"Hopefully, family members might also keep an eye on what students are taking to school."