Youth, 15, charged with attempted murder in Bedford, N.S. school stabbing

Click to play video: 'Halifax police detail ‘traumatic’ school stabbing after student charged with attempted murder'
Halifax police detail ‘traumatic’ school stabbing after student charged with attempted murder
WATCH: “An incident of this nature is traumatic, not just for those involved, but everyone in the community,” Halifax regional police chief Dan Kinsella said – Mar 21, 2023

A 15-year-old student of Charles P. Allen High School near Halifax is facing two counts of attempted murder after two staff members were stabbed on Monday morning.

Halifax Regional Police initially received a weapons complaint around 9:20 a.m. at the Bedford, N.S. high school, and found three people suffering from stab wounds. They arrested a youth, who they said was a student at the school.

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education later confirmed two staff members were among those injured, and described the situation as traumatic.

In the Tuesday release, police said the two employees of the school are in hospital in serious but stable condition, while the youth accused was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening stab wounds.

Story continues below advertisement

The 15-year-old is facing 10 charges, including two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons-related charges.

Click to play video: 'Teen charged with attempted murder after stabbing at Nova Scotia school'
Teen charged with attempted murder after stabbing at Nova Scotia school

At 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, HRP held a media availability on the violent incident.

During the news conference, HRP Chief Dan Kinsella said police will maintain a presence in the school as the investigation continues.

“An incident of this nature is traumatic, not just for those involved, but everyone in the community,” Kinsella said.

“This incident does not define our community, it does not define our schools.”

He said it was an “isolated incident” and it was controlled quickly.

Kinsella also thanked HRP’s victim support team and the school’s support resources, and wished “everyone who was injured a speedy recovery.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Student in custody after staff stabbed at Bedford, N.S. high school: Halifax police'
Student in custody after staff stabbed at Bedford, N.S. high school: Halifax police

Kinsella said he’s aware the public has a lot of questions about the incident.

“We ask that people avoid speculation,” he said.

“We can assure you the investigation is ongoing. We are looking at every aspect and will conduct a thorough investigation.”

Many details — including the prohibited weapon allegedly used in the attack — cannot be revealed at this stage of this investigation, he added.

Court appearance

The teenager appeared in youth court in Halifax Tuesday morning with a bandage on the front of his neck, as the reading of charges was waived and a bail hearing was set for Thursday.

He didn’t speak but appeared calm, and as he departed the room his mother touched her heart and gestured her hand towards him.

Story continues below advertisement

There is a publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act on the identity of the accused.

Terry Nickerson, the youth Crown prosecutor, indicated to the court during a brief hearing that he expected a psychiatric assessment would be carried out.

The prosecutor said outside of court that “at this stage” the Crown has given notice it will seek an adult penalty, while noting it is early in the proceedings.

Classes cancelled Tuesday

The Halifax-area high school cancelled classes for Tuesday.

The acting director of the Halifax Regional Centre for Education notified members of Charles P. Allen High School just after 11 a.m. that though it initially opened for classes, the centre’s Crisis Team recommended to cancel classes for the day.

“The school will be open and supports are available for any student who wishes to talk,” read the notice. It also added busses will continue running at the regular time this afternoon.

Story continues below advertisement

In a Tuesday evening update to families, the school’s principal, Stephanie Bird, said that more than 20 professionals were at the school earlier in the day and that supports would remain throughout the week. Classes are scheduled to resume Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.

“We are looking forward to welcoming students back tomorrow. We recognize that teaching and learning may look different initially and we will proceed with patience and understanding over the coming days as we all work on the healing process,” wrote Bird.

Ryan Lutes, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union said this incident was a “shock to the system” in a Tuesday interview.

Lutes said he supports HRCE’s response in cancelling classes but keeping schools open.

“That tells me that that officials are doing what they feel is right… and they’re doing everything they can to support the staff and students and community members,” he said.

He also said the teachers worked hard to ensure that all students and staff were safe after the violent incident.

“My heart goes out to them, and I commend them on their great work.”

Story continues below advertisement

Lutes said teachers have reported an increased level of violence in the past few years, and the NSTU wants the Nova Scotia government to conduct a review into violence in schools.

“As a dad, as a parent and as a teacher, when parents send kids to school and when teachers go to school, there’s a sacred bond that says they’re going to get home safely… and unfortunately, that bond was broken. you know, that didn’t happen yesterday at C.P. Allen,” he said.

“I think it’s incumbent upon all stakeholders in the system to put our heads together and look at ways that we can make our school safer.”

Lutes added he hopes the community in Bedford is able to heal from this incident.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

Sponsored content