RCMP and Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district are investigating after a youth waved a hunting knife during an altercation between several youths in a high school hallway.
The incident happened Monday, April 17, shortly after 11 a.m., at Nanaimo District Secondary School.
During the incident, which was captured on a cellphone camera and shared with media outlets, a male youth, wearing a hoodie and a bandana covering the lower half of his face, was seen wielding a large Bowie-style knife. Several other youths can be heard on the video asking the suspect to put the weapon away. When punches were thrown, a male school staff member intervened.
No one was injured and the youth fled the premises.
“Right after the individual left the school grounds, the school had gone into a hold-and-secure, which is, essentially, you lock all the exterior doors so nobody can exit or enter…” said Dale Burgos, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools spokesperson. “Very quickly the RCMP had apprehended the individual close by.”
The hold and secure was lifted at 11:35 a.m.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, a teacher called 911 to report an altercation between several youths and another youth who was not enrolled at the school. The suspect youth then fled and his immediate location was unknown, but within about 30 minutes, police located him nearby and arrested him without incident. Officers, with the help of a police dog, located a knife that is believed to have been associated with the altercation.
“The incident was witnessed by a number of youths,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in the news release.
Nanaimo RCMP officers will be at the school Tuesday, April 18, to help alleviate any concerns students and parents may have, the release noted.
“We have our assistant superintendent at the school right now, meeting with the school team and I have to commend the RCMP and also the school staff who had quickly attended to the scene and made sure that … everyone was safe,” Burgos said.
The 15-year-old suspect is accused of one count of assault with a weapon and was turned over to his parents’ custody. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in provincial court on July 6.
Investigators are asking anyone who has video evidence to contact their school liaison officer or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.