Boy, 17, plotted to attack high school on Montreal Massacre anniversary: police
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, December 7, 2016 4:38PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 7, 2016 9:11PM EST
A 17-year-old boy is facing charges after he allegedly wrote on a blog that he was preparing to attack Oakwood Collegiate Institute on the 27th anniversary of the massacre at École Polytechnique de Montréal.
Toronto police Det. Len Nicholson told CP24 a tipster calling from the western United States warned of a threat posted on a blog on Dec. 1.
He said the threat specifically cited Oakwood Collegiate located at 991 St. Clair Ave. W.
Nicholson said police – through Internet service providers – were able to trace the threat to a Toronto District School Board computer.
A review of login information allowed police to identify the suspect.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect planned to attack the school with a number of bladed weapons on Tuesday – the 27th anniversary of the attack in Montreal where 14 women were shot dead and another 14 people were wounded by Marc Lépine in 1989.
Nicholson said the threat posted online made specific reference to the massacre. The post, however, did not identify specific targets, and was not specific to women.
A search warrant was executed at the suspect’s home on Tuesday and a number of weapons – including a machete, a hatchet, two swords, four knives and several arrows for a longbow – were seized.
Nicholson said a variety of computer equipment was also seized, along with articles of clothing investigators believe the suspect was planning to use to carry and conceal various weapons.
The suspect, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was arrested and charged with one count of uttering threats of death and one count of uttering threats of bodily harm.
Toronto District School Board spokesperson Ryan Bird said the school board was told of the threat on Monday afternoon after classes had been dismissed, and that the suspect was taken into custody sometime overnight Monday.
Const. Craig Brister could not say whether the suspect was a student of Oakwood Collegiate. Bird confirmed to CP24 that the suspect is a current student of the board, but would not elaborate further.
He appeared in court at 311 Jarvis St. on Tuesday morning. The boy, who was not previously known to police, was granted bail with “strict conditions,” Nicholson said.
The suspect has retained a lawyer and is not cooperating with investigators, Nicholson added.
“Obviously it’s concerning if we hear anything remotely like this, but the important thing is, the system worked,” Bird said.
Letters will be sent home with students today, Bird said, and counselling will be made available for any student at the high school who requests it.