No sign of man with gun after student’s report prompts hold and secure at Courtenay school: RCMP

No sign of man with gun after student's report prompts hold and secure at Courtenay school: RCMP

Students and staff at Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay had to stay a little longer after the final bell rang Friday after a report of a man with a gun nearby prompted a hold and secure.

But police say as of 6 p.m., they have no other reports or evidence that anyone’s safety is at risk after a student reported seeing the man with a long gun in the woods near the school at around 2:20 p.m.

“Initially, the student also reported hearing two shots fired. The school went into hold and secure while surrounding schools were notified and police rushed to the area,” Comox Valley RCMP said in a news release.

The student witness described the man as being mixed race and wearing boots but was not able to provide a description of his clothing or other details on his appearance, adding he did not say anything to her and did not make any threats to her.

Children inside during the hold and secure were said to be safe, RCMP said, while officers deployed to Courtenay contained the area surrounding the school and searched for the reported man with a gun.

SD71 declined to give additional details, referring questions about the reported armed man to Comox Valley RCMP.

“We just want to make sure students are safe and that’s what we’re doing right now with with the school in the hold and secure,” said spokesperson Craig Sorochan.

Officers combed over the area with police dogs, the emergency response team and an RCMP helicopter but the man reportedly seen by the student was never found and police say they only received the single report.

Lake Trail Middle School’s hold and secure order was lifted at 4:15 p.m. and students were able to be sent home, the district said.

“Once police were able to determine there was no active threat in the park or surrounding area, students were dismissed,” said Const. Monika Terragni, spokesperson for Comox Valley RCMP. “We would like to thank the media and the public for being patient and respectfully sharing our message on social media.”

Arden Elementary was also placed into a hold and secure but students were safely dismissed through a structured dismissal protocol, School District 71 said on Twitter.

Police said they’d remain in the area throughout the evening to continue their investigation and speak with neighbourhood residents.

Anyone who spotted anything suspicious in the area of Lake Trail school is asked to call RCMP at 250-338-1321.


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