By James Gaughan 
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  say.
The police held a media scrum Friday morning outside Quinte Secondary School , 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  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.
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 , 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.
Police describe the suspect as:
- Between 25 and 35 years of age
- Having a slim build
- Between five feet 10 inches and six feet tall
- Unshaven with a dark goatee
- Pale skin
- Short dark hair
- Wearing a black ball cap, sunglasses, a long-sleeved black shirt, a dark grey Sierra Design vest, light grey pants and grey hiking boots with black toe caps
- Wearing a black backpack
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 613-966-0882 or Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.