Jordan Manners
and the C.W. Jefferys Massacre
The Canada eZine - Crime


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Boy killed in school shooting
Wednesday May 23rd 2007.

A 15-year-old boy who was shot at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute this afternoon has died, police have confirmed.

The victim, Jordan Manners, was taken to Sunnybrook hospital with critical injuries after the shooting at 2:30 p.m. The Grade 9 student had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Witnesses say there was a fight outside the school before the shooter followed the victim inside, where Jordan was shot.

The 848 students at the North York School, near Finch Ave. W. and Keele St., were in lockdown for several hours.

Just before 6 p.m., TTC buses arrived to begin evacuating students to a nearby school as C.W. Jefferys was being cleared bit by bit.

Police remained at the scene. There were no arrests. No gun had been recovered.

Police tape still surrounded the school at 8 p.m. and forensic investigators were expected to work into the night. The school was due to open again Thursday morning with grief counsellors called in to talk to students and staff.

Earlier, ETF officers went into the school with tear gas, crowbars and sledgehammers in the expectation that the gunman was still in the school, possibly trying to hide among the other students.

Police Chief Bill Blair arrived at the scene at about 5 p.m. and told reporters "this is a very serious matter."

The victim was found in school hallway, Blair said.

"It's shocking that such an event can take place in our schools," he told reporters.

Police at first responded to what was initially reported as a drowning at a pool near the school.

"Right now we’re scouring the school to make sure there is no risk to the students," Blair said.

He appealed for calm so police could do their jobs.

"We want to get those students out of the school and home safely," the police chief said.

"I have police officers in every hallway and every school room."

Meanwhile, at the hospital, a dramatic scene had played out earlier.

Shortly after 4 p.m.. a young woman came running out the emergency doors and collapsed, screaming and wailing, "No!."

A man in his 20s, wearing a ball cap, shouted "Get back inside."

About 10 minutes later, police in an unmarked car escorted two women to the emergency department at the hospital.

As one woman was going in, a male met her and told her, "He’s died, Mom."

The mother collapsed to the ground and the boy tried to pick her up.

Shortly after that, a man ran out of the emergency entrance, pushed a cameraman, and continued running around the building.

Two males were later handcuffed and led away.

In the afternoon, nervous parents arrived at the school awaiting word on their childrens’ safety.

A parent arrived and got her daughters on a cellphone.

"They just wanted to let the parents know that everybody is safe," said Victoria Zorzella, who was talking to her twin daughters Michelle and Monique, both 14, who were using someone else’s cellphone.

They were in the library with about 30 people.

In the hours after the shooting, several discussion groups popped up on the online network website Facebook.com, with students posting messages dedicated to the young victim.

"I just want to say R.I.P Jordan Manners. My thoughts go out to the family of the victim my prayers are with the family," wrote one blogger.

One of the victim's neighbours, who would only identify himself as Godfried, said in an interview that he was "shocked" to hear Jordan Manners had been shot.

"I spoke to him this morning and told him to keep up his grades," said the man, a former teacher. "He was an amazing handyman. He could tear apart and put together a bike in minutes."

The neighbour said Jordan was a gentle person and it was a "shame" that someone that he knew as so kind would meet such a tragic end. "The guy was so calm. That's what I don't understand about it."

Toronto mayor David Miller spoke out about the crime at about 5:30 p.m.

"I have met with so many mothers who have lost their sons to violence. It’s impossible to console a mother in those circumstances," he said.

The mayor said he shares the feeling with other council members that they no longer "want to look into the eyes of a parent and say, ‘you’ve lost a child.’"

Miller said it’s time to "redouble our efforts" to cut down on guns in the city. "They’re designed to kill," he said.

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne spoke out as well as an educator and a mother, calling it "a tragedy."

"My heart goes out to the family."

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victim.

"I also know I speak for all Ontarians when I condemn and deplore the violence we’ve seen here today," McGuinty said in a statement. "I want the entire community at C.W. Jefferys C.I. to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."

The shooting comes a little more than a month after a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech before taking his own life.

In September, a gunman at Montreal’s Dawson College killed a student and wounded 19 others before he died from police gunfire.


Timeline for shooting at C.W. Jefferys:

  • 2:30 p.m.: Police respond to what they first think is a drowning. It’s a miscommunication.

  • 2:38 p.m.: Police arrive to find boy shot in second floor of hallway at school and lockdown is ordered.

  • 4:20 p.m.: Young woman in her late teens or early 20s exits emergency doors at Sunnybrook hospital, falls to the ground and begins wailing, "No, No, No." A young man in his late teens or early 20s, believed to be the victim’s brother, comes out and tells the girl to come back into the emergency room.

  • 4:30 p.m.: Two women in their 30s or 40s, escorted by the police, arrive in an unmarked vehicle. The young man believed to be the brother of the victim exits the emergency doors and tells one of them, "He died, Mom." The woman collapses to the ground and is helped up by police and the young man.

  • 4:35 p.m.: The same young man and another young male, who looks the same age, exit the emergency area, running past the TV cameras. The young man shoves one of the cameramen and tells that person to get "out of my face."

  • 4:37 p.m.: Two boys run around to the side of the building, where they are handcuffed and led away.

  • 4:50 p.m.: Police officer at 31 Division confirms the victim has died of gunshot wound to the chest.

  • 6 p.m.: TTC buses arrive to evacuate students. Police stay behind to investigate.

  • Miller calls for stricter gun control
    Wednesday May 23rd 2007.

    Politicians expressed shock and disgust at a shooting at a high school in Toronto on Wednesday that left a 15-year-old student dead.

    The incident prompted Toronto mayor David Miller to stress the need for stricter gun control.

    "Handguns have one purpose and that is to kill and it really reinforces what we've been saying for quite a while at the city," Miller told television station CP24.

    "We absolutely have to get the guns off the streets. It's going to require some changes to our laws but it has to be done."

    Miller also sent his condolences to the family of the student, identified by his peers at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute as Jordan Manners.

    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty extended his "deepest sympathies" to the family and friends of the boy, as well as other students, staff and parents.

    "I also know I speak for all Ontarians when I condemn and deplore the violence we've seen here today," he said in a statement.

    "I want the entire community at C.W. Jefferys C.I. to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."

    Provincial Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, also speaking with CP24, said the tragedy affects her not only as the minister, but as a mother.

    "It's a huge, huge human tragedy," she said.

    "We have to make sure there are programs in our communities so kids have things to do and have opportunities ... It really starts with kids feeling like they have hope and feeling like they have a place to belong."

    Opposition Leader John Tory released a statement calling the shooting a "disgusting act," and lamented that school lockdowns are becoming more commonplace.

    "I share the sadness and concern of many Ontarians today about the tragic events at C.W. Jefferys C.I." he said.

    "This was a senseless act that would be shocking if it happened on Toronto streets, but to happen in one of our schools in the middle of the afternoon is unbelievable."


    Students Recall Being In Lockdown
    Wednesday May 23rd 2007.

    If you think parents were worried about their kids at CW Jefferys on Wednesday, imagine what was going on inside those classrooms. When Jordan Manners was felled by gunfire just after 2:30pm in a hallway, students were quickly ushered back into their classrooms and the doors locked. They were ordered to sit quietly and keep away from the windows. And outside of a brief but not very informative announcement from the principal, most had no way of knowing what was going on.

    A few of the 848 enrolled there who dared to peek outside saw the stunning view of heavily armed cops running for the entrance and an ambulance screaming away from the scene. The lucky ones who had a TV in their rooms turned on their sets and that was how they first learned about the tragedy.

    One supply teacher inside the school told CityNews over a cell phone her science class was actually getting more information watching CP24 than they were from anyone inside. "It just said the school has a policy for lockdown and it just says lockdown. That's it," revealed Cheryl McLeod. "We're getting more from the television news ... Everybody's well here."

    Student Codiann Batts finally emerged from the protective walls after 6pm - four hours after she was frozen in time. "It was really scary actually, just to know that a student got hurt in the school," she relates. Even her final journey out of the building was eventful. "We left my class and we had to walk in two separate classes because space was cut off. Then we came through the main hall and cafeteria and we were escorted out by police."

    Batts admits she's shaken by the events of the day and realizes whoever shot Jordan Manners is still on the loose. She doesn't intend to return in the morning. "It's not safe," she points out.

    As is the Board's policy, grief and psychological counsellors will be on campus on Thursday to help those who need it. How many kids will actually show up to talk to them is another question.


    THE HISTORY OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS IN CANADA

  • May 28, 1975: At Brampton's Centennial Secondary School, 16-year-old student Michael Slobodian kills a teacher, fatally wounds another student and injures 13 others before killing himself. Slobodian is the first recorded high-school killer in the country

  • Oct. 27, 1975: Robert Poulin, 18, kills one student, injures 4 at Ottawa's St. Pius X High School, then kills himself.

  • October 1978: A 17-year-old student shoots a 16-year-old to death at Sturgeon Creek Regional Secondary School in Winnipeg, allegedly for ridiculing the rock group Kiss. He is found not guilty of first-degree murder by reason of insanity.

  • Dec. 6, 1989: Canada's worst school shooting occurs when Marc Lepine, 25, shoots 14 women dead at Montreal's L'Ecole Polytechnique before killing himself.

  • Feb. 26, 1990: A jilted 17-year-old shoots 3 other teenagers, including his ex-girlfriend, at General Brock High School in Burlington, Ont. All three survive.

  • August 24, 1992: Concordia University mechanical engineering professor Valery Fabrikant fatally shot four of his colleagues, including the chair of the department, after repeatedly being denied tenure.

  • June, 1993: A teenager is wounded outside Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver in a drive-by shooting.

  • Oct. 20, 1994: Two guidance counsellors who warned a mature student at Brockton High School in Toronto about his performance were shot and wounded. Phu Cuong Ta, 27, was charged with two counts of attempted murder. He is serving a 20-year jail sentence.

  • April 28,1999: A 17 year old student is shot dead and another wounded at W.R. Myers High School in Taber, Alberta by a 14 year old boy. This was the first fatal high school shooting in Canada in 20 years.

  • Feb. 8, 1999: A man fires a shot at Woodland Elementary School in Verdun, Que., after a woman in an adjacent adult education centre said she had been threatened by another student. No one was injured.

  • Sept. 27, 1999: Alvin Brown, 23, was shot and seriously wounded outside Shoreham Public School, near Steeles Ave. W. and Jane St. in Toronto, during a confrontation. Although many students saw the shooting, none were directly involved.

  • April 27, 1998: A 15-year-old boy fires two shots from a pellet gun into the pool area at Harbord Collegiate, near Bathurst and Bloor Sts. A teacher and a lifeguard were hit.

  • Feb. 5, 2000: Dwayne Williams, 20, is shot in the back and leg at a community talent show at Scarborough's Lester B. Pearson Collegiate.

  • Nov. 2005: A Grade 12 student at Chinguacousy Secondary School in Brampton is shot while sitting in his car in the school's parking lot. Police say the 18-year-old is recovering in hospital.

  • Sept 13, 2006: Kimveer Gill opens fire at Dawson College in Montreal, killing one student and injuring 20 before killing himself.

  • May 23, 2007: 14-year-old Jordan Manners is shot and killed at C.W. Jefferys secondary school in Toronto. The school is locked down with students inside while police searched for the gunman.

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