Toronto police have charged a teenage boy on suspicion that he was plotting an attack on the Oakwood Collegiate Institute on the anniversary of a killing spree, known as the Montreal massacre. The 17-year-old appeared in court on Tuesday (6 December) morning and was later released on bail with "strict conditions", police said.
Detective Len Nicholson of the Toronto Police Service said on Wednesday that they received a tip-off about the attack threat on 1 December through a blogging site and their investigations led them to the teen, The Toronto Star reported.
Nicholson added that the mention of the Montreal massacre, in which 13 students and a school budget clerk were killed by gunman Marc Lépine on 6 December, 1989, made them take up the investigation on an urgent basis.
The officer said they sourced the blog post back to a computer belonging to the Toronto District School Board. The IT security unit of the school board then traced the student who was using it, which led them to the 17-year-old, Nicholson said, without disclosing the identity of the boy as he is a juvenile.
Toronto police recovered several weapons, including a machete, two swords, four knives, and arrows from the suspect's house following a raid on his home in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when the attack was allegedly planned. They also seized computer equipment and clothing.
Nicholson reportedly said the teen was allegedly planning to conceal his weapons under his clothing and enter the school to carry out the attack. He added that they believe the boy was acting alone as they have not yet found any evidence of accomplices.
"We believed that there was a great consideration that he was going to do this. That's why we had to act quickly and make sure that this was stopped . . . I do believe this was a serious threat," Nicholson said, adding that they are investigating if bullying at the school was the reason behind the attack plot.
The boy faces one count each of uttering threats of bodily harm and uttering death threats, The Toronto Star reported.