D. Roy Kennedy school evacuated after fake gun incident
Children sent home after quick arrest
Children at D. Roy Kennedy Public School were sent home for the day after a man alleged to have brought a replica firearm inside was arrested by police Thursday morning.
The call came in to police at about 10:35 a.m. ET from the public JK-8 school located at 919 Woodroffe Ave., between Carling Avenue and Highway 417.
Police said the man, who is in his 50s, allegedly walked inside with what appeared to be a firearm, pulled the fire alarm and then went to the principal's office.
Responding officers arrived within minutes and used a Taser on the man. He was taken to hospital to be assessed, police said.
No one else was hurt.
School deemed safe after tactical unit sweep
Children at the school were taken to a safe location nearby as a precaution. Because of the investigation, they weren't allowed back inside the school for the day.
"Buses are en route and the telephone tree has been activated to contact parents/guardians," said an email from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
"Students will only be sent home if parents have been contacted. If a parent has not been reached, the students will remain at the evacuation site."
Evening activities at the school have also been cancelled but the school is expected to reopen Friday.
Panicked parents picked up children
By noon, relatives had begun to arrive at the school to pick up their children.
"I'm scared, obviously... I'm still shaking," said mother Samia Hamid.
"I have three grandchildren here... I saw all this going on, sirens for 15 minutes, police cars, paramedics, even the fire truck's here," said Earl Lytle, who lives nearby.
Tactical officers performed a sweep of the school and found that it was safe.
No other information on the arrested man was immediately available. No charges had been laid as of early Thursday afternoon, as Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Mark Patterson said he was still being assessed at hospital.
No buzz-in system for school's doors
D. Roy Kennedy's doors are left open during the school day, with no buzz-in system for visitors.
Walter Piovesan, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's (OCDSB) assistant director of education, said it's up to individual schools if they want to install such a system.
"The buzzer system isn't foolproof," he said.
"It goes to what kind of environment you want to create, is it a welcome environment?
"When I saw something like [school shootings] in the [United States] I thought they should have something," Hamid said.
"A beeping or buzzer kind of thing, so they know who’s coming in or out.”
Brett Reynolds, who works on safety with the OCDSB, said D. Roy Kennedy does have a sign-in policy for guests and locks every door but the main one.
He said there has been money available if schools decide to install a buzz-in system.
Piovesan said the board will review their policy on such systems.