In the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht, police are searching for a man who threatened a teacher in a school with what was likely a prop gun.
Just after 12:00 on Monday, witnesses saw that someone with a handgun entered the Institut de la Providence secondary school in the Rue Haberman in Anderlecht. A bit later, a gunshot was heard.
“There were no injuries and no projectile was found,” Police Spokesperson Sarah Frederickx told VRT. “It is therefore possible that it was a prop gun. Everyone present in the building has been taken to safety, and the school is now thoroughly being searched.”
False reports of hostage-taking
A teacher was also threatened, but the exact circumstances of the whole incident are still unclear, according to the police. A security perimeter had also been cordoned off around the school in the afternoon, but has since been lifted.
Earlier in the afternoon, several news outlets reported that it concerned a hostage-taking, but these appear to be incorrect.
Update situatie Anderlecht: Er was een incident met een alarmpistool in een school. Onze ploegen zijn ter plaatse. Er is géén gijzeling aan de gang. Kinderen en personeel zijn in veiligheid. #anderlecht
— Politiezone Zuid (@pz_zuid) May 23, 2022
Translation of Tweet: “Update situation Anderlecht: There was an incident with a prop gun in a school. Our teams are on site. There is no hostage situation going on. Children and staff are safe.”
“Several people were crying,” a pupil told Belga News Agency. “The teachers told us to flee to the gymnasium. We had to wait there for about two hours. After we were searched by the police, we were allowed to leave the school.”
Pupils have since been able to leave the school, and the fire services have also left the area, reports Bruzz. It is not yet clear whether the police have arrested a suspect.