PICKERING, Ont. — High-school students described a chaotic scene at a suburban Toronto high school on Tuesday after a female classmate ran down the hallways knifing people, leaving six students and two teachers with non-serious injuries.
Police say the girl was taken into custody and two people were transported to hospital for treatment, although none of the injuries were considered grave.
Sgt. Bill Calder of Durham Regional Police says officers were called to Dunbarton High School in Pickering, Ont., at 8:32 a.m. in response to reports of a stabbing. He added that two staff members wrestled the suspect to the ground and held her down until police arrived.
"People will call them heroes, but I'm sure they'll say they were doing what anyone else would have done, but it was brave thing to do in such a dangerous situation,'' said Calder.
"I just can't believe it happened. She almost got me.''
Police have not released the name and age of the female student, but said charges are pending. There was no information about the girl's motive.
Dave Selby, a spokesman for Durham, said a lockdown remained in place at the school, but there was no active threat. Police said the school would close for the day and were interviewing witnesses.
Students described running from a girl brandishing two kitchen knives careening down the hallways of the school.
"I just ran for my life."
An emotional Kristina Petrovska, 14, said she came face-to-face with the suspect, who slashed the knives at her.
"I just ran for my life,'' the girl said as she began to cry. "I just can't believe it happened. She almost got me.''
Stephen Pim said he saw a girl with a long black coat chasing students in the hall of the school's tech wing waving a knife in each hand.
"I heard the teachers say 'clear the halls' so I started to run outside informing people that there's a student with a knife, you need to get to safety,'' the 16-year-old said in a text message as he sat in a locked classroom inside the school.
Chaos at the start of the school day
Dalton VanderElst said he got to school at 8:30 a.m. and a teacher yelled to get out, that there was someone with a knife. So he bolted outside where he said he saw four tactical officers with guns drawn entering the school.
Zakyr Rhemtulla, a Grade 9 student at Dunbarton, says he was faced with chaos from the moment he arrived at school this morning.
He says as soon as he opened the front door, he saw students running in all directions.
"I'm like 'oh, what's happening,''' he said in a telephone interview. "So I just kept on walking and some teacher told me, 'oh, come into this room.' So I ran into the room. They locked the door, closed the curtains, turned the lights off.''
"It's hard to believe this happened at my son's school."
Rhemtulla and a few other students remained in the classroom while the school was in lockdown and police combed the property for evidence.
He said the initial shock of the situation eased up as students monitored social media and learned that no one appeared to be in danger.
"Students are calm, I guess,'' he said. "Police are gone, kids are just joking around.''
Lynn Sharma dropped her son off at school around 8:30 a.m. and shortly after received a text from him saying there was an attack on other students, but that he was safe.
"I just want to see my boy,'' she said outside the school.
"He says he's fine, but I really just want to get him in my arms. It's hard to believe this happened at my son's school."
—With files from Michelle McQuigge