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Student charged with mischief after weapons call at area school

Police say Orillia teen sent Snapchat of what appeared to be a weapon to students, sparking large police presence and lockdown
Orillia secondary school stock photo
Orillia Secondary School.

A 14-year-old Orillia Secondary School (OSS) student has been arrested after a "weapons call" sparked a massive police presence and a lockdown at the local high school Wednesday afternoon.

Orillia OPP Const. Brett Boniface told Village Media a student used Snapchat to send a photo to other students at the school of what appeared to be a firearm.

There was no messaging included with the photo, he explained.

More than a dozen officers, some from the local detachment's emergency response team and some tactical officers that had been training near the school, arrived within two minutes of the initial call.

Police were able to quickly locate the student who sent the message. There was no firearm or weapon involved; rather the photo that was sent, Boniface explained, was a keychain that featured a small, detailed replica of a firearm. 

The teen was charged with mischief.

"We take threats like this very seriously," said Boniface. "This was a very unsafe decision for this young person to make."

Boniface said the lockdown lasted less than 20 minutes. As a result of the uncertainty around the initial weapons call, a "hold and secure" was also put in place at three local elementary schools: Lions Oval, Orchard Park and Samuel de Champlain.

The accused was released from custody and is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Orillia to answer to the charges in June.