Peel Schools Lockdown
Published: May 26, 2015
Peel Schools Lockdown, Peel Regional Police say it appears it was a fake call about someone coming to school armed with a weapon that brought them to Gordon Graydon Senior Public School in Brampton Tuesday morning.
It forced the school into lockdown and four other schools into hold-and-secure as officers searched the middle school on Rutherford Road North.
A 9-1-1 call was made at 8:15 a.m. before most students were in school and police say they are unsure at the moment if the caller was a man or a woman, but they said they were going to the school this morning armed.
Students arriving were taken to a “safe place” as per police and school guidelines while police investigated.
Police said they suspected the call was fake soon after arrival, but had to fully investigate to ensure there was no truth to it.
Police thoroughly searched the school before declaring students could enter. The lockdown at Gordon Graydon and hold and secure at the other five schools ended just before 11 a.m.
“They did everything they needed to do to make sure it was in fact not a real call,” said Peel Sgt. Matt Small said of officers on scene, which included Tactical Unit and K9.
Three other Brampton schools – Madoc, Harold F. Loughlin, Father C.W. Sullivan– were placed in “hold and secure” while police investigated the call. One Mississauga school, Allan A. Martin, was also placed into hold and secure out of precaution because it is close to Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School. The Mississauga school of the same name as the Brampton school targeted by the caller is currently closed by the teachers’ strike.
“It was out of an abundance of caution” that the Mississauga school was put into hold and secure, said Peel Sgt. Matt Small.
Buses for the four Brampton schools were redirected to a nearby shopping mall as police investigated.
Fake emergency calls have become a trend called “swatting”.
It is not the first time it’s happened in Brampton. There were two serious incidents last year, with an arrest in one of the cases.
In December, uniform officers, Tactical Unit officers and Tactical Paramedics converged on a house on Condorvalley Crescent in the area of McVean Drive, south of Cottrelle Boulevard. Someone called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher that he had shot his father in the head. He also said he would shoot anyone who approached the house.
It was a Sunday afternoon, just four days before Christmas, and when police arrived, a surprised occupant immediately walked out with hands up.
Police evacuated the house and determined the occupants knew nothing of the call and there were no weapons and no one was injured.
Last March, several 9-1-1 calls were made by someone claiming to be trapped inside a burning house. A 15-year-old Brampton boy was charged with three counts of public mischief in that case.
On Monday, York Regional Police released a dramatic 9-1-1 tape they said was also fake. It was a call by a man claiming that he was hiding in a closet while his father wandered the house shooting. He told the 9-1-1 dispatcher that he thought his mother had been shot.
Police in Peel Tuesday were criticized by some parents who were anxious to know what was happening at the school, but could get no answers. Small said police had work to do before they could reveal details to keep the investigation on track.
“At the end of the day, we’re looking out for everybody’s safety,” he said.
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