Halton Regional Police arrested a teenager after officers closed an Oakville high school on Tuesday following a report of a man with a gun nearby.
Police said they seized a “replica handgun”.
Officers found the boy, 16, on the grounds of White Oaks High School after searching the school and surrounding area. He is expected to face weapons charges.
Police said they received a call about a man with a gun on the school’s south campus around 2:30 p.m., then closed the school until 3:30 p.m. The school also has a north campus. When police received the report, they said they were unsure if the gun was real or a replica.
Five other schools were placed in a waiting and safe position, but these measures were also lifted at 3:30 p.m. The schools were Gaetan Gervais High School, Montclair Public School, St. Michael’s Catholic Elementary School, Munns Public School, and Oak Elementary School.
A hold and secure is a school response to an incident in the general vicinity, but not on or near school property.
“There are no known, ongoing, threats to public safety,” police said in a news release Tuesday.
“The investigation is still ongoing and members of the public should expect a continued police presence in the area. We thank the community for their patience and cooperation.”
Replica guns pose ‘significant threat’, police say
Police said they wanted to remind the public that replica firearms pose a “significant threat” to communities.
“They appear to be real to both members of the public and the police,” police said in the statement.
“When reports of a potential firearm are received, officers must respond on the assumption that they are real, increasing the risk to the person in possession of the replica, police and members of the public.”
The incident comes just days after several Scarborough schools were closed following reports of a man in the area with a gun. A 27-year-old man was shot dead by police.
Police later discovered the weapon he was carrying was a pellet gun, according to the Ontario Police Watchdog
Days later, two York Region schools were put on hold and secured following a threat posted online by a teenager – holding what appeared to be a gun.