Grade 11 student shot outside North York high school
Published Thursday, May 12, 2022 11:55AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 12, 2022 5:37PM EDT
A Grade 11 student was rushed to hospital with serious injuries following a shooting outside a North York high school on Thursday morning.
It happened in the south parking lot area outside Victoria Park Collegiate Institute at around 11 a.m.
Toronto District School Board spokesperson Ryan Bird told reporters that the school was placed into lockdown “almost immediately” after the shooting and that students and staff were confined to their classrooms for most of the day while police processed the scene.
Students were dismissed, as usual, shortly after 3 p.m.
“I think a shooting of this kind anywhere in the city is concerning enough. Then you put it in the middle of the day and in the parking lot of a school, I think it's got to be concerning for a lot of students, parents and members of the community,” Bird conceded.
At least six different shell casings were visible on the ground of the parking lot on Thursday afternoon as forensics officers continue to scour the scene for further evidence.
Bird said the school does have a number of surveillance cameras both inside and outside the property and that police will be reviewing the footage as part of their investigation.
“In the meantime, we're making sure that we're supporting students in any way we can,” he said. “We have social workers on the scene, speaking with students who require additional supports. Obviously something like this is very difficult for a number of students and we want to make sure that we're supporting them.”
The victim, a 17-year-old male, was located in the vicinity of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue, which is more than three kilometres to the southwest of the school.
Police told CP24 that he travelled to multiple locations before he was transported to hospital and was not forthcoming about the actual site of the shooting.
The shooting marks just the latest violent incident to occur on the premises of Victoria Park Collegiate Institute during this school year.
In November, Grade 11 student Maahir Dosan was fatally stabbed on the track and field area outside the school. Two other individuals were also stabbed in that incident.
“It's understandable that people would be concerned but overall I would say the school is indeed a safe school,” Bird said on Thursday. “You have got literally a school filled with dozens of caring adults that are ready to help support kids at a moment's notice. So we just want to reassure them of that.”