Man with airgun arrested in West Ottawa school

Azaan Hamid had just gotten dressed for gym class at D. Roy Kennedy P.S. when the fire alarm went off around 10:35 Thursday morning.

“I thought it was a drill,” said Hamid, 10, adding “everyone was getting out of the building very calmly.”

They had reason to panic – an armed man had walked into the Nepean school making threats.

He entered the unlocked front door, pulled the fire alarm, then went into the vacant vice-principal’s office.

The building was evacuated; students herded to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church parking lot next door on Woodroffe Ave., just north of Hwy. 417.

Patrol cops arrived within minutes.

A Taser was used to subdue the man, Ottawa Police acting Insp. Michel Marin said at the scene.

Paramedics didn’t treat the man but took him to hospital for an assessment.

The man was carrying a replica handgun, said police. No one was injured.

Sources tell the Sun the suspect is 55-years-old, acted alone, and has no history with cops.

A tactical team was dispatched and swept the premises, giving the all-clear by 1 p.m.

Neither Hamid nor brother Maaz, 12, seemed fazed by the incident.

Mother Sadia Hamid, though said otherwise.

“I’m scared, obviously, if somebody’s coming in like this,” she said.

“I’m shaking. I never expect something like that but nothing is safe — I don’t know, these days, it’s getting more scarier and scarier,” she said.

School was cancelled for the remainder of the day.

Midhad Suvaric was picking up his son from preschool then rushed to the site to scoop his daughter, 4.

“There’s so much crap going on in the world … my kids don’t deserve this,” he told reporters as his daughter, arms around his neck holding a yellow flower, asked for a piggy-back ride.

He kissed her forehead.

“Went through 13 years in a war. It doesn’t help when your kids are here, you know?,” said Suvaric, from Bosnia.

The D. Roy Kennedy community had opted not to ask the province for money to provide buzzers and locks to secure the entrance, said Ottawa Carleton District School Board associate director of education Walter Piovesan.

That policy may now change.

”We’ll debrief and review the process,” Piovesan said.

Out of 123 elementary schools in the board, 79 have buzzers, said Piovesan.
Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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