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two police officers look around as they stand outside Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU)
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Man in custody after wielding axe on campus

By Anastasia Blosser

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) alerted students of a person walking around campus with an axe on Monday afternoon.

The university advised students and faculty to avoid or evacuate Victoria Street, Gould Street and Gerrard Street through a series of emails and notifications on the TMU Alert app. 

According to Toronto Police Services (TPS), a man is in custody and the area was declared as cleared less than an hour after their first alert. The Eyeopener reached out to TPS for comment but was redirected to their Twitter

TPS received a 911 call for a man armed with an axe. The man was described as white, in his 30s and wearing khakis, a grey vest or jacket, a dark grey shirt, white and red sneakers and headphones. 

Kaitlyn Naidu, a first-year child and youth care student, was with her friends when a professor warned them of the alert and offered a safe space to wait inside the Image Arts Centre. 

She said the experience was scary. “Everyone’s calling him the axe man. He’s running around with an axe.”

James DeAngelis, a first-year business management student, was leaving class when he noticed a group of police officers at the entrance of the campus. He said he didn’t think anything of it at first. “It’s Yonge and Dundas, of course there’s always something there.”

DeAngelis said this was not the first time he felt unsafe around school. “On campus it’s not that bad, but immediately outside is terrible.”

Hanzila Memon, a first-year child and youth care, was sitting outside Victoria building with her friends when a student came up to them and warned them of “a guy with an axe, on the loose.” She said she remembered thinking, “this is not safe, this is not good.”

As a student new to campus, Memon said she feels unsafe walking around the university because of unwanted attention from strangers. 

Students can call campus security at 416-979-5040 to report an injury or incident. In the case of an emergency, students should call 911.

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