Investigation launched into fatal school shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO – A Toronto school board has launched its own investigation into a school shooting that left an 18-year-old student dead.

A Grade 12 male student was shot and killed inside David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute in eastern Toronto around 3 p.m. Monday, shortly after school ended for the day, police said.

“An incident like this raises questions about how something like this can happen inside a school,” Colleen Russell-Rawlins, director of education at the Toronto District School Board, said in a written statement.

She said the board will help the homicide squad’s investigation as well as conduct their own probe.

There are 16 cameras inside the school that could help the investigations, a board spokeswoman said.

Toronto police Insp. Richard Harris said they believe the shooting was targeted and that the suspect fled on foot immediately.

“It’s devastating,” he said.

Tactical officers swept through the school, which went into lockdown, he said, but no suspect or gun was found.

Police said they are looking for a short male about five feet six inches tall. The entire first floor is considered a crime scene, Harris said.

Anyone in the area with information, dashcam or cellphone video is asked to contact police, he said.

“I can assure you that the Toronto Police Service and the homicide squad will do their very best in investigating this matter and hopefully bring the person or persons responsible for justice in short order,” Harris said.

Inside the school, emotions ran high, said board spokeswoman Shari Schwartz-Maltz.

“There’s a lot of tears inside,” she said outside the school Monday. “There’s a lot of upset teachers — it’s hard to believe.”

Schwartz-Maltz said they’ll have social workers and counsellors available to help.

“Whatever the kids need, whatever the staff need, they will get,” she said.