Yellowknife RCMP search for youth, firearm, as school lockdowns end
3 witnesses report seeing youth carrying firearm across the street from school
Yellowknife RCMP continue to search for a youth possibly carrying a gun in the Range Lake neighbourhood on Friday after two elementary schools were locked down in the morning.
Both École St. Joseph School and nearby N.J. MacPherson School lifted their lockdown orders around 9:45 a.m. MT, about one hour after they were issued.
Classes were just starting when RCMP said they received tips about a youth, aged 12 to 15 years old, wearing a grey jacket and carrying something that looked like a gun across the street from St. Joseph's, a K-8 school.
"We had three different witnesses call in, advising that somebody was carrying what appeared to be a firearm," Const. Kathy Law said late Friday morning.
In addition to starting a search immediately, RCMP notified St. Joseph's principal Flo Campbell, who co-ordinated the emergency lockdown procedure as a precautionary measure.
"Our first step is that we lock our doors to the outside world and ascertain that it's safe within our school," Campbell said.
"Our students were very calm. I walked around every classroom .… Our teachers and our staff were calm. They continued with their teaching."
Although the lockdown had ended, Campbell said her school planned to keep students in doors for their recess.
Law said RCMP do not have any leads on the case yet.
"Extensive patrols in the area resulted in us not being able to locate the individual, so we were unable to find out whether or not the item was a firearm," she said.
"Police are still conducting patrols of the area, and the investigation is ongoing."
When asked about a delay in releasing information about the incident to local media, Law said officers were busy patrolling the area.
"Due to the public safety and the safety of youth and the schools, we had the police out on patrol and most of the police were out doing that ... and came back to do a media release and get that out to the press as soon as we could," she said.
Police are asking the public to be cautious and report anything unusual they may come across to the local detachment or CrimeStoppers.