WATCH ABOVE: A 17-year-old Toronto student has been charged after police say they foiled a potential attack at Oakwood Collegiate Institute to coincide with the anniversary of the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal.
By Nick Westoll – Global News
A 17-year-old Toronto student has been charged after police say they foiled a potential attack at a high school in the city to coincide with the anniversary of the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal.
Toronto Police Det. Len Nicholson told Global News police received a tip from someone in the United States about a threat posted on a website that referenced École Polytechnique.
“He mentions in his threat about the Montreal massacre,” Nicholson said.
Officers became aware of the threat on Dec. 1 and investigators later determined the school to be Oakwood Collegiate Institute near Dufferin Street and St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto.
The teen boy was identified as a suspect and officers executed a search warrant at the his home early Tuesday morning.
Officers seized a machete, a hatchet, two swords, four knives and arrows from a bow-and-arrow set.
Nicholson said police also seized clothing and computer equipment consistent with an attack.
“In (the suspect’s) threat, he made mention that he was going to hide weapons inside of his clothing to enter into the school to do the attack,” he said, adding the accused retained a lawyer and didn’t speak with officers.
1207 16:17 Boy, 17, Chrgd In Potential Threat To Schl, Oakwood Col I…St. Clair Ave W https://t.co/eTQCvNsmNt
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) December 7, 2016
Toronto District School Board spokesman Ryan Bird told Global News the teenager was a TDSB student. A letter from Steve Yee, principal of Oakwood Collegiate Institute, was sent home with students Wednesday.
“Some of you may have noticed a police presence at our school yesterday. They were here to investigate a reported threat made toward the school,” the letter read, adding the well-being of staff and students is “a top priority.”
“Earlier that day, officers contacted me to advise that they had arrested a person overnight in relation to that threat. As a result, it was not necessary to disrupt regular school routines. All students and staff are safe.”
Tuesday marked the 27th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, when a lone gunman targeted and killed 14 women at École Polytechnique.
The teen, who cannot be named due to provisions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with one count of uttering threats of bodily harm and one count of uttering threats of death.
He appeared in a Toronto youth court Tuesday.
Nicholson said the teenager was placed “under very strict” bail conditions and later released.
“The public is safe with the conditions that the court had imposed,” he added.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call 13 Division at 416-808-1300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
Adam Miller contributed to this report