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Police seek suspect after shots fired at Quinte Secondary School and bank robbery

Media scrum outside Quinte Secondary School Friday morning. Photo by Ashley Clark QNet News

Inspector Mike Callaghan talks to the media outside Quinte Secondary School Friday morning. Photo by Ashley Clark, QNet News

By James Gaughan [1] 

BELLEVILLE – The man suspected of discharging a firearm at a Belleville high school and robbing a Front Street North bank on Thursday afternoon is still at large, Belleville Police [2] say.

The police held a media scrum Friday morning outside Quinte Secondary School [3], which went into lockdown for about an hour Thursday afternoon because of the shots fired.

No one was injured in either the school incident or the subsequent armed robbery at the Royal Bank of Canada [4] branch at 241 Front St. N., said Insp. Mike Callaghan.

Police were called to Quinte Secondary on College Street at about 2 p.m. Thursday. The lockdown was over by 3:30 p.m.. The bank robbery happened at about 2:05 p.m., just after the school incident.

Belleville Police have released this image of a suspect in the discharge of a firearm at Quinte Secondary Secondary School and a downtown armed robbery.

Belleville Police have released this image of a suspect in the discharge of a firearm at Quinte Secondary Secondary School and a downtown armed robbery.

At the bank, the man pulled out a firearm and “approached several tellers” demanding money, Callaghan said.

The firearm was not discharged and the man left the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of money, said Callaghan.

Belleville Police are taking both instances very seriously, Callaghan said.

“The Belleville Police service is dedicating every single resource we have available to solving this crime and holding those accountable for these actions in a court of law.”

The incident at the school was meant to draw police away from the armed robbery, said Callaghan.

“This was not a targeted shooting towards the school or anyone at all,” he said.

“This shooting was a diversion of emergency services away from a bank robbery that happened a short time later.”

Incidents like this in Belleville are “an anomaly,” said Callaghan.

Mandy Savery-Whiteway, director of education for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board [5], also spoke at the scrum. “We are very proud of the fact that the students and staff and administration at Quinte Secondary School responded using the protocols we have established,” she said. “Student safety is always our priority,”

The man was able to get into the school because the doors remain unlocked to allow students to come and go throughout the day, said Liane Woodley, principal of Quinte Secondary.

Classes were back in session Friday morning.

“All of our staff are here today. They are supporting our students. We’re like a big family, ” Woodley said.

An image of the suspect at the RBC on North Front St. released by the Belleville Police.

An image of the suspect at the Royal Bank of Canada on North Front Street released by the Belleville Police.

Police describe the suspect as:

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 613-966-0882 or Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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