Police are investigating after a shooting near Collège Montmorency in Laval, Que., left three people with non-life-threatening injuries and spurred an hours-long school lockdown.
Police were called to a park near the school at around 5:22 p.m. Friday where an altercation had taken place, leaving two 20-year-old men and one 19-year-old man injured.
Not 10 minutes later, after the victims sought refuge inside the school, the campus was locked down with hundreds of staff and students confined inside.
Those inside were slowly evacuated from the building beginning shortly after 10 p.m. — more than four hours later.
Initially, police provided conflicting information about the number of people injured in the incident. The number of victims police reported changed between three and four several times throughout the evening.
Laval police spokesperson Sgt. Geneviève Major said that when the victims ran into the school, it initially created some confusion about where the shooting had taken place.
No shots were fired on campus, she said. She could not say if the victims are students of the school.
Major could not say how many shots were fired but confirmed that all of the victims were injured by gunfire.
Parents of students were gathering outside the school two hours after it was placed under lockdown, but police were keeping students and staff inside while officers carried out searches and security checks, Radio-Canada reported.
Parents told Radio-Canada they were not getting much information from police and were told they had to wait. Others said they were relying on text messages from their loved ones for information.
Major assured reporters that there was no danger to those confined to the campus.
As of Saturday morning, investigators are still looking for one or more suspects, Major said. She was unable to provide a description.
Collège Montmorency, located on Avenir Boulevard, is a public post-secondary CEGEP in Laval's Chomedey district just north of Montreal. The school has more than 8,300 students and 1,300 staff members.
Éric Nicol, a spokesperson for the college, said in an email that it sent out a message to all staff and students informing them of the situation and saying the school was monitoring developments closely.
Université de Montréal also sent out a notice saying nobody was allowed to enter its nearby campus, though people were allowed to leave.
"The shooting near Collège Montmorency is disturbing," said Quebec Premier François Legault on Twitter Friday evening.
"My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. We will relentlessly fight gun violence on our streets to keep Quebec a safe place."
Earlier in the day, police arrested a suspect as part of a large police operation at another CEGEP in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., — where students and staff were locked down for more than seven hours.
No one was injured in that incident. There is no connection between the two incidents.