Female student faces 15 charges after mass stabbing at Toronto-area high school
TORONTO – A 14-year-old female student has been charged with 15 criminal offences after nine people were injured following a stabbing at a Pickering, Ont., high school east of Toronto on Tuesday.
The student, whose identity cannot be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged with assault, six counts of assault causing bodily harm, seven counts of assault with a weapon and possession weapons dangerous, Durham Regional Police confirmed.
The accused remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
The incident took place around 8:30 a.m. ET. at Dunbarton High School at 655 Sheppard Ave. as students were heading to class.
School officials say of the nine injured, six were students and three were faculty members.
Global News has learned there was an apparent forewarning of the attack in a blog post on a popular social media website, in which an author alluded to planning a knife attack at a Canadian high school.
Durham Regional Police have been alerted to the post and said they are in investigating, but are not yet able to confirm its validity.
“All of the injuries right now are minor in nature,” Durham Regional Police Sgt. Bill Calder told media at the scene. “Four have gone to hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Two of those injured were staff members.”
Police say two staff members who were hurt intervened and managed to stop the female student from inflicting further injuries.
“We’re giving kudos to the staff members that stopped this before it got worse,” Calder said after the incident. “They did the right thing.”
Several students told Global News they witnessed the suspect holding large knives as they entered class in the morning.
“I just walked into school today and when I got here, I just saw everyone run,” said Grade 12 student Dalton who did not want to give out his last name.
“I didn’t know what to do. Then I saw a girl with two knives.”
Another student said he saw a youth inside the school’s hallway brandishing a knife in each hand.
“I was on my way to my first period class when I saw a young girl with a very pointy kitchen knife and it was actually quite frightening,” said Grade 10 student Tyler Stevens.
Stevens said he saw one girl with a neck injury and another boy with an injury to his stomach.
“I just wanted to run, get out of there. I wasn’t sure what to do,” said Stevens.
Grade 10 student Sam Turner was also heading into class at the time of the incident and described the scene as chaotic.
“Teachers were moving around screaming and telling us to get into classrooms and students were coming telling us to get into classrooms … a lot of us thought it was a joke,” said Turner.
“I could see someone down the hall being carried out by teachers and it was terrifying.”
VIDEO: Dunbarton High School student Sam Turner spoke to Global News via Skype from a class room where she and other students have been in lockdown since six people were stabbed in an incident earlier Tuesday morning.
The school was placed in lockdown during the morning hours as police searched for further suspects.
The order was lifted just after 10 a.m. with the school closed for the remainder of the day.
“Once the situation began, our school went into a lockdown as per our protocols,” said school principal Randy Tennant.
“Our staff and students followed the protocol quite well. I commend our staff for following the safe processes that we have here at Durham District School Board.”
Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne called the stabbing “very worrisome” after she got word of the news Tuesday morning.
“I know that the police are doing everything that they can. They are in control of the situation. I also know that the school board officials made sure the kids were kept safe,” Wynne told reporters at a press conference in Toronto.
The age and identity of the stabbing victims have not been released.
“There’s no known motive right now as to why this happened,” said Calder.
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