One man is dead after being shot by police near an elementary school on Thursday afternoon, Toronto police said, prompting hundreds of children at nearby schools to go into lockdown.
Police were initially called to Maberley Crescent and Oxhorn Road for reports of a person carrying a rifle on the street around 1 pm
About 20 minutes later, paramedics were called to the corner of Lawrence Avenue East and Port Union Road for a reported shooting.
Police said an officer discharged a firearm at the suspect, striking the man at least once.
Video obtained from the scene shows officers cordoning off a section of Port Union Road. An orange tarp was seen covering something on the sidewalk.
To a press conference Thursday evening, Toronto police chief James Ramer called the incident “traumatic” for all involved.
“We certainly understand the trauma and how traumatic this must have been for staff, students and parents given the two recent events that have happened in the United States,” he said.
“We will step up patrols in the area and continue to work with our school and community partners and services will be available for those that require those services.”
A spokesperson from the Toronto Police Association confirmed two TPS officers were transported to hospital following the incident, but did not sustain physical injuries. No additional injuries were reported.
A man is dead after a shooting near a Toronto elementary school on Thursday. (CTV News Toronto)
A young girl at William G. Davis told CP24 she was in her science class when the class received a message from the principal that they were going into lockdown.
“This is not a drill, get under your desks,” she recalled being told.
“Some of us were fiddling around, some of us were kind of scared. After 10 minutes I knew that this was not a drill. ”
She said they were not told anything for a while, and unease grew inside the class.
“I thought someone was trying to break into school – I was just saying to myself – probably it’s the end of it,” she said.
She and her classmates were later let out of school.
Another witness told CP24 that they heard “three rapid shots” and then saw officers attempt to revive a male on the sidewalk.
That witness told CP24 officers told him they were searching for a male on a bicycle with a rifle in the area.
The Toronto District School Board says Joseph Howe Senior Public School, Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute and William G Davis Junior Public School were all initially placed under lockdown.
Charlottetown Junior Public School and Centennial Road Junior Public School were in hold and secures.
As of 3 pm, all lockdowns and hold and secures had been lifted, with the exception of William G Davis Junior Public School, which remains in hold and secure to “ensure an orderly dismissal.”
Toronto Catholic District School Board confirmed that St. Brendan Catholic School was also placed under lockdown, which lifted just before 2:10 pm
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency responsible for investigating circumstances involving police that have resulted in a death or serious injury, has confirmed they have invoked their mandate following Thursday’s incident.
With files from CP24’s Chris Herhalt.