Security staff stood outside the doors of an east-end Toronto high school Tuesday where, a day earlier, an 18-year-old was fatally shot outside the building minutes after the end of classes.
Toronto police have identified Jefferson Peter Shardeley Guerrier as the victim of the shooting outside Woburn Collegiate Institute in Scarborough on Monday afternoon.
Guerrier had been a student at nearby Lester B Pearson Collegiate Institute, that school said in a letter to parents Tuesday.
“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,” the school’s principal, Anthony Hack, wrote in the letter.
Students at Woburn CI told reporters they were shocked that something like this could happen at their school.
“I’m not going to lie, I was scared at first,” Grade 10 student Emmanuel Ssebunya said. “This is something you would hear in America.”
Baheej Quadri, a Grade 9 student at the school, was inside waiting for robotics club to begin when gunshots rang out.
“Everybody started running down the hall and we went into one of the rooms,” he said, adding he didn’t feel particularly safe being at the school Tuesday.
In a news release issued Tuesday morning, police said they were first called about the shooting around 3:22 p.m.
Officers arrived to find Guerrier shot and began life-saving measures. The teen was rushed to hospital, but soon pronounced dead.
Police say a 15-year-old boy later arrived at a nearby hospital with gunshot wounds stemming from the incident. He was taken to another hospital and is now listed in stable condition.
Police describe a suspect in the case as a boy in his teens with a thin build and wearing dark clothing.
Meanwhile, the Toronto District School Board says grief counsellors and supports will be in place at the school as long as they’re needed.
Investigators are asking anyone who saw the shooting, or has video of the incident to contact police.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Mayor John Tory said the city has initiated a meeting with the school board and police to see what more might be done, adding tackling the root causes of an incident like this one includes addressing the availability of guns.
“Beyond my extreme sympathies that I extend on behalf of everyone to the families of those directly involved, there are a lot of kids and a lot of parents that today we should be thinking about in terms of concerns they may have about being safe in their schools,” Tory said.
“What’s normal about somebody showing up in front of a school carrying a gun to begin with let alone using it? There’s nothing normal about that.”
Prime Minister Trudeau also commented, saying the news of the shooting was “extremely difficult to hear” and underlines the importance of reducing gun violence in cities and across the country.