updated 9/16/2008 3:19:04 PM ET 2008-09-16T19:19:04

A teenage student was shot and critically injured during a fight outside a Toronto high school Tuesday, police said.

Police locked down the Bendale Business and Technical Institute and several other schools nearby. They said they had a description of the gunman, who fled along with several witnesses.

Police chief Bill Blair said the teenager was shot in the abdomen during a fight involving a number of young men just outside the school building.

"One individual discharged a firearm but there were at least three other young men that were at that location at that time," Blair said. "We don't have any information on their identity at this time."

Police also blocked off nearby roads after finding the victim.

This week, Toronto enacted a program that puts police officers into certain city schools following the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old in a Toronto high school in 2007. But police said there was no officer on duty at Bendale on Tuesday.

Toronto once prided itself as one of the safest cities in North America but it has seen a surge in gun violence in recent years.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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