Three injured in shooting in school parking lot

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The Independent US

Gunfire in a Toronto high school parking lot injured three teenagers, and police said they were looking for two male suspects with handguns.

Gunfire in a Toronto high school parking lot injured three teenagers, and police said they were looking for two male suspects with handguns.

One person was seriously injured and two others sustained less serious injuries Thursday, said police Sgt. Jim Muscat. He said one of the injured was a student at the school and another was a former student.

Muscat provided no other details of the shootings at Emery Collegiate Institute, located in a working class area of suburban Toronto northwest of the city center.

The gunfire went off in the parking lot of the school in the afternoon, and the first police units on the scene secured the area and prevented anyone inside from leaving the school.

It was unclear how many of the more than 1,000 students who attend the school were inside. Some students said later they were unaware of ever being locked inside.

Lance McLean, 19, said he was playing chess in the school when another student told him of the shooting.

"It's kind of crazy to have something like that happen at your school," he said.

Police were looking for two male suspects with handguns, Sgt. Bruce Warren said. He said he didn't know if the suspects were students at the school.

Warren said he was surprised by the shooting because he was unaware of any previous violence at Emery Collegiate, which also houses an adult education center.

News reports in Toronto said the high school operates with strict security measures. Hallways are monitored by video cameras and students are forbidden from wearing overcoats in the halls, and the side doors are locked at lunchtime, requiring students, staff and visitors to use the front door the rest of the day.

The shootings evoked memories of school violence in Canada and the United States in the past year.

In the worst incident, two students at Columbine high school in Littleton, Colorado, killed 12 students and a teacher while wounding 23 before killing themselves in April 1999.

A week later, a 14-year-old student at a Taber, Alberta, high school killed a 17-year-old student and wounded another 17-year-old in an attack considered a response to bullying.

"As the parent of two school-aged sons, I am deeply troubled by any act of violence," Ontario Premier Mike Harris said in a statement issued after Thursday's shootings. "The safety of our children is paramount. I will do everything in my power to ensure that our schools and our communities are safe."

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