Friday, September 10, 2010

Reports of armed man closes two Ontario schools

By Jonathan Sher, QMI Agency

 Police in this southwestern Ontario town are searching for a 19-year-old gunman after early-morning reports that led to the lockdown of one school and the closing of another Friday.
Josh Drummond
Josh Drummond, of Listowel, Ont., showed up at an area home at 5:45 a.m. Friday with a rifle, prompting the resident there to phone police, Listowel OPP spokesperson Glen Childerley told QMI Agency.
Drummond left the home and police later blocked off several roads.
Neighbours said the two-storey white house is rented to a young woman, who lives with a 14-months-old child and an infant, and that the suspect is or was in a relationship with the woman.
Neighbours said there have been problems at the house since the young couple moved in a few months ago.
Another neighbour said police told her to keep her doors and windows locked and not to go outside.
"It's been a couple of months of hell and, hopefully, this will help get to the bottom of it," she said. "But it's very sad."
"I don't really know what's going on," said another neighbour. "I woke up and there were six police cruisers here."
Officials have locked down hundreds of students at Listowel District Secondary and told parents of younger kids not to send them to Listowel Eastdale elementary.
While a school official said earlier Friday that there had been an armed standoff, that is not the case, Childerley said.
Nor did Drummond fire any shots, he said.
"There's no armed standoff," he said.
But police are warning residents to stay away from Drummond.
"The (suspect) should be considered armed and should not be approached," Const. Joanna Van Mierlo said.
An emergency response team, a tactical team, as well as police dogs are hunting for the suspect.
Drummond was described as wearing a grey jacket, grey pants and grey ball cap and walking with a pit bull dog.
Listowel is about 160 kilometres west of Toronto.

Update September 10, 2010 8:43pm - The following article is by Joe Belanger and Hank Daniszewski, QMI Agency:
Armed suspect in Listowel manhunt surrenders to police

Reports of a shotgun-wielding man caused a scare in this Perth County town Friday and prompted the lockdown of three schools.
But the incident ended peacefully in the afternoon when a 19-year-old Listowel man turned himself into police in the nearby town of Drayton.
The schools were locked down while police searched for a man who showed up at 5:45 a.m. at a home on Royal St. in Listowel.
A resident told police the man had a shotgun, Perth OPP said.
There weren't any shots fired and the man left on foot accompanied by a dog that appeared to be a pit bull.
Neighbours said the house is rented to a woman, who lives with a 14-month-old child and an infant and the suspect is or was in a relationship with the woman.
Police blocked off several roads and advised neighbours to stay indoors and lock their doors.
Officials with the Avon Maitland District school board decided to put Listowel district secondary school and Listowel Eastdale elementary school into "lockdown mode."
Buses were already en route and some students had already arrived. The students were directed into a classroom as they arrived. Police did not want pedestrians on the street, board superintendent Michael Ash said.
He said students were not told the reason for the lockdown but some found out using their cellphones.
Some rural students were released before noon and escorted onto buses by police.
St. Mary's Catholic School was also locked down.
A nearby TD Canada Trust bank also closed for the day while police searched the neighbourhood for the suspect.
By early afternoon police investigators determined there wasn't any threat to the pubic and the remaining students were dismissed from the schools.
Based on what transpired in the original incident, we determined it was a dispute between (a woman and the gunman) and believe that victim was the targeted victim," Const. Joanna Van Mierlo said.
Around 3 p.m., 19-year-old Joshua Drumond turned himself into police in the town of Drayton in Wellington County east of Listowel.
Police said the investigation continues.

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