Teen girl robbed at knifepoint, prompting lockdown at Esquimalt high school
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, November 6, 2017 12:23PM PST
Last Updated Monday, November 6, 2017 6:30PM PST
A teenage girl was robbed at knifepoint in Esquimalt Monday, sparking a lockdown at a nearby high school as police hunted for a man who remains on the loose.
Victoria police tweeted just after noon that officers were attending a robbery in the 800-block of Colville Road, down the road from Esquimalt High School.
Police said the man was armed with a knife when he stole the girl's backpack on a nearby street.
She was unharmed in the incident and immediately reported it to school officials.
"Initial information [was] that it occurred inside the school, so the school was put in lockdown," said police spokesman Const. Matt Rutherford.
Out of precaution, officers still searched classrooms in the school before determining the man had fled the area.
As of early Monday evening, he had still not been found.
Police described him as a man with short, dark hair and was wearing a black bandana over his face at the time of the robbery.
They said he was also wearing sunglasses, gloves, black pants and a red-and-tan flannel jacket.
At around 1:20 p.m., police tweeted the lockdown had been lifted at the school.
The incident made for a tense hour for parents who received updates from their kids in school.
Alissa Gordaneer, whose daughter attends the school, said she was very concerned when she received a text from her daughter saying "I love you" and explaining the situation.
"That's the last kind of text you want to see from your kid," she said.
Some students locked themselves in classrooms while other hid underneath tables in the school's library.
Colton Bell, a student at Esquimalt High, said students were worried and confused after being given the lockdown order.
"We just all went into a random room, locked it and closed it and pretty much just sat in there and waited," he said. "They said that there was still a threat around so we had to stay in the rooms."
As a precaution, nearby Vic West elementary was also placed in a hold and secure, meaning exterior doors were locked and classes proceeded as usual, as police tried to track down the man.