Toronto police have identified a teenager who was fatally shot in front of a Toronto public school Monday afternoon and they say they are looking for another teen suspected in his killing.
Police responded to Woburn Collegiate Institute on Ellesmere Road, just east of Markham Road, at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.
According to police, the victim was shot in front of the school.
Emergency crews arrived and rushed the boy to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Toronto police identified him Tuesday as 18-year-old Jefferson Peter Shardeley Guerrier of Toronto.
Following the shooting, a 15-year-old boy attended a nearby hospital with gunshot wounds. He was transported to another hospital where he is now in stable condition.
Investigators have described the suspect in the shooting as a boy in his teens, with a thin build who was wearing dark clothing.
In a letter sent to students and their families Tuesday, the principal of Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute identified Guerrier as a former student at that school.
“We know that you will join us in expressing our deepest condolences to Jefferson’s grieving family, friends, and former teachers and classmates,” Principal Anthony Hack wrote in the letter.
“Jefferson attended Lester B. Pearson CI from 2017 to 2022 and will be sorely missed by our school community. As a student he was involved in the Pearson Band and the Skateboarding Club. His playful and jovial nature endeared him to staff and students alike.”
It was not immediately clear whether the other victim attended Woburn C.I. or why Guerrier was at the school when he was shot.
‘THOUGHT IT WAS FIRECRACKERS’
The deadly shooting occurred close to the end of the school day Monday afternoon and sent the school into lockdown, with some students scrambling.
“I heard three gunshots. Then I saw the whole school run back inside and then I just took off back home trying to stay safe,” one student said.
Another said the gunfire sounded like firecrackers.
“At first we thought it was firecrackers,” she said. “We tried to run and then we saw people running. So we just kind of ran to our safety.”
Police began escorting students out of the building at around 4:30 p.m. after they had been in lockdown for around an hour.
Speaking outside the school Tuesday morning, TDSB Director of Education Colleen Russell-Rawlins told reporters that support staff are on scene to speak with teachers and students and will remain available as long as they are needed.
“We’re all here to a listen to their concerns and answer their questions very directly,” she said. “We also have additional adults in the building today. But they know that they can count on the people that they see each and every day to support them.
“Whether it’s a school based safety monitors or vice principals, our child and youth workers, their teachers – they are all here because we know that when students have a problem, when they need help, the people that they go to are in this building each and every day. And that’s how we can prevent issues like we have seen here.”
Hack said support staff will also remain available at Lester B. Pearson CI as long as necessary as well.
Russell-Rawlins called the killing on school grounds “a horrible tragedy” and said the board is going to “look very closely at what needs to be done here and across our schools to continue to provide for student safety and support” following the police investigation.
She said a “multi-pronged” approach is needed to prevent violent crimes in school, including action from the school board and different levels of government.
Police are asking anyone with further information to reach out to investigators or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously.
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