Student in custody after report of gun seen inside Marc Garneau Collegiate, police say

Toronto police responded to a report of a gun inside Marc Garneau Collegiate Thursday afternoon. No injuries have been reported. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC - image credit)
Toronto police responded to a report of a gun inside Marc Garneau Collegiate Thursday afternoon. No injuries have been reported. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC - image credit)

A student is in custody after a lockdown at North York's Marc Garneau Collegiate Thursday afternoon.

Insp. Lori Kranenburg says police received a report of someone seen with a gun inside the school around 12:30 p.m. An investigation was launched and a student from the school was arrested, Kranenburg said.

Police would not comment on whether or not the student had a weapon, why the student was taken into custody, or how many students reported seeing a gun.

There were no reported injuries.

"The information that we originally had was that there was a gun seen, but the circumstances of that is still under investigation," Kranenburg said.

Valley Park Middle School, just a few minutes from Marc Garneau Collegiate, was put in a hold and secure after some students made their way there following the lockdown.

"The hold and secure have been lifted at both schools, and the investigation is continuing," said Kranenburg.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., police started considering the "safest way" to resume school activities, she said.

'It's upsetting for everyone at TDSB'

Shari Schwartz-Maltz, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) spokesperson, says Marc Garneau Collegiate has about 1,800 students. During lockdowns and hold and secure incidents, nearby schools often serve as a "refuge" for students who can't make it back into their school.

The TDSB has seen a string of violent clashes involving students on and off school property since the start of the academic year, including stabbings and shootings.

Most recently, police announced a 13-year-old boy was 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.

Last week, a gun was fired inside a bathroom at East York Alternative Secondary School, injuring an outreach worker.

When asked to comment on what TDSB is doing to address the rise in weapons found at schools, Schwartz-Maltz said the topic of youth violence is "upsetting for everyone at TDSB."

"I can't even begin to tell you how upsetting it is," said Schwartz-Maltz.

Schwartz-Maltz says the board is putting together an "expert reference group" with experts from all levels of government and other community partners to advise the board on next steps, in addition to increasing the number of safety audits at each school.

"I think it's important to know that this is not a single school board issue," said Schwartz-Maltz.

"When violence happens at our school, a school board can only do so much ... The community needs to come together to solve the problem."