Lockdown lifted at Hamilton high school

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Published November 30, 2023 at 2:51 pm

The second locked down in as many days at Hamilton’s Bernie Custis Secondary School has been lifted.

On Nov. 29, Hamilton Police confirmed the school at 1055 King St. E. was locked down after for investigation. While police did not initially share what sparked the investigation, they did confirm they had five people in custody. The neighbouring Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre and Jimmy Thompson Pool were also shuttered.

However, the school remained on lockdown for several hours while officers searched for a bag believed to have a gun in it. Police called the search off a couple hours later, but did not confirm if they’d found anything.

Investigators later shared the investigation concerned drug trafficking at the school. One of the five arrested was a 15-year-old they accused of selling drugs. The boy cannot be identified due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police said they responded to the school after reports of a “potentially armed” person. They learned the quintet they later arrested had left the school in a car and fled to a nearby gas station. Police searched the car for a gun, but did not find one. They learned the gun may have been left behind at the school and scoured the place afterward.

They charged the 15-year-old with possession of fentanyl, two counts of possession of cocaine and possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000. However, they have filed no firearms charges.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov 30, police confirmed the school was once more under lockdown. Additionally, the nearby Prince of Wales Elementary School was also placed on a hold and secure. They did not say whether this latest lockdown is related to yesterday’s events but they did confirm that the lockdown was related to a weapon.

Officers later confirmed they had closed down the neighbouring Melrose Ave, which runs along the west side of the school, from King St. to Cannon St. After roughly an hour and a half police said they lockdown was lifted, but did not confirm if they’d found anything suspicious.

Anyone with information can call Hamilton Police at 905-546-4925.

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