Toronto

Toronto teen charged in plan to attack local school on anniversary of Montreal Massacre

A 17-year-old boy is facing charges after police found a machete and other weapons at his home that they allege he planned to use to attack a school on the 27th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

Officers say they found a number of weapons, including a machete, swords and knives in teen's home

Det. Len Nicholson says a U.S. tipster alerted police an online threat to attack a Toronto school on the anniversary of the Montreal massacre. A 17-year-old has been charged. (CBC News)

A 17-year-old boy is facing charges after police found a machete and other weapons at his home that investigators allege he planned to use to attack a school on the 27th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

A U.S. citizen came across the threat against Oakwood Collegiate Institute in an online blog and contacted Toronto police on Dec. 1.

Police would not release the exact wording of the threat, but Det. Len Nicholson said that it did not specifically target women, although the teen did allegedly mention the assault at L'Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989 in which 14 women were killed.

"In the threat he makes reference to the massacre in Montreal so that made our urgency that much greater," the detective said. "We were concerned that he was going to act on that date so that's why we acted quickly."

Machete, swords and knives

Cybercrime investigators traced the threat to the Toronto District School Board's network — and with the help of the board they were able to find the exact computer used to write the post.

Nicholson would not say whether the accused wrote the threat from a computer at Oakwood Collegiate or whether he even attended the school on St. Clair Avenue West near Dufferin Street.

Toronto Police allege a 17-year-old threatened to attack Oakwood Collegiate Institute on the 27th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. (Twitter/ @TDSB_Oakwood)

Officers showed up to search the boy's home around 4 a.m. Tuesday. There, police say they found a number of weapons, including a machete, a hatchet, two swords, four knives, and arrows, police said.

The teen had been sleeping when officers showed up with the search warrant, Nicholson said.

"We believe that he acted alone, we're still investigating to see if there's anybody else involved but we don't believe there's any danger to the students at the school or staff."

No sign yet of bullying

Investigators have not been able to settle on a motive.

Nicholson said there's no evidence yet that the teen was bullied, but he said it's something that officers will investigate.

Police allege the teenager had planned some sort of attack on the school on Tuesday, which was also the anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

Although the threat referenced the Ecole Polytechnique shooting - which killed 14 women - the post did not mention any specific gender, police say. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

"We took it very seriously based on the contents of the threat," he said. "There could have been potential danger that happened at school the following day."

The boy has been charged with uttering threats of bodily harm and uttering death threats. He was released to his parent's supervision after he appeared in court Tuesday.

The teen cannot be identified because of provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Toronto District School Board confirmed that the boy attends a school in the district but wouldn't say if it was Oakwood Collegiate Institute.  

Nicholson told reporters the teen will not be allowed to return to school.

With files from CBC's Adrian Cheung

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