Police make two arrests after lockdown at Quebec Junior College south of Montreal

A 19-year-old man wearing a bulletproof vest and a girl under the age of 18 were arrested Friday after a junior college in Southern Montreal was ordered to close.

There were no reports of injuries or shootings. Jeremy Levesque, from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu police in Quebec, told reporters. He said police were conducting a controlled evacuation of the university, located about 40 kilometers south of Montreal.

According to Levesque, police arrested a man wearing a “bulletproof vest” but did not confirm whether the suspect was enrolled in a university.

Police received a call about a man acting suspiciously on campus around 9:40 a.m. They arrived at the university and arrested a 19-year-old man and a Levesque girl who they called a “minor”. Levesque said it was the men’s attire that was particularly surprising. A video circulating online showed the arrest occurring in what appeared to be a parking lot outside the university.

The college Sépep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ordered its students and staff to barricade its closed rooms and keep the lights on, following orders from the police station. Police have established a security perimeter around the university and restricted access to the school.

Annie Métivier, an interior design engineer at the university, said she and four others — a colleague and three students — had been barricaded and hidden in her dark office since about 9:15 a.m. rice field.

“I’m still barricaded and I don’t know anything… I’m following information from social media and outside friends,” Métivier said in an exchange via Facebook Messenger.

“Right now we’re five in the office, and we’ve turned off the lights because we were told to do so.”

Police spokeswoman Konst. Barbara Ann Dion said police officers are searching the campus room by room.

Métivier said he wanted the police investigation to end.

“We’re fine, yes… we’re stressed, but we’re okay. I can’t wait for all this to end,” she said. “I saw the police with guns next to my office because I had to go back and lock the door that my teacher unlocked next to my office. Hurry up, hurry up, lock yourself in.’ … Seeing the police ready to fire their weapons … it adds to the stress.”

Earlier Friday, university executive director Natalie Baudouin said in a statement that parents, students and others were advised to stay away from the school, adding that all activities for the day had been cancelled.

Sidasa Banerjee

canadian press