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Police: Gunman killed after college shooting

Story Highlights

A female student died from injuries sustained in the rampage
• Authorities say gunman was killed by police; 19 students wounded
• Hospital: Six victims to receive operations
• Student says one gunman wore trench coat, began shooting outside
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MONTREAL, Quebec (CNN) -- A gunman was killed by police and at least 19 students were wounded after a Wednesday shooting at Dawson College in downtown Montreal, police said.

One student later died of her wounds, police spokesman Olivier Lapointe said. Radio Canada quoted Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme as saying the victim was a woman in her 20s.

Initial reports indicated that as many as four people, including two gunmen, had been killed, but Delorme told CNN that only the single gunman was killed. Police were looking for other possible suspects, he said.

Students said mayhem ensued after the gunman opened fire outside the college before taking his weapons into the school's atrium, near a cafeteria where students were eating lunch. (Watch students flee the scene -- 1:38)

One student told Global News in Montreal that the shooter was in his early 20s and was wearing a trench coat.

"He was saying nothing, just shooting. He told people to get away, and that was it," the student said.

Another student, Daniel Mightley, 21, said he was outside the college, heading to lunch, when he saw a shooter to his right. The gunman, who was wearing a black trench coat and had a Mohawk, fired a shot and "everybody just ran inside," he said.

"I saw his face and he had no emotion in his face whatsoever," Mightley said. "He was walking very slowly toward us and just shooting."

Delorme would not comment on a motive, but said the shootings were not hate crimes or terror-related. Asked to describe the shooter, Delorme said only that he had three weapons.

Police responding to an unrelated call saw the shooter about 12:41 p.m. outside the college and followed him inside where a shootout broke out, leaving the gunman dead, Delorme said.

Five of the wounded were critically hurt, and four more were seriously injured, hospital officials said.

Six of those needed surgery, a Montreal General Hospital spokeswoman said. All surgeries were scheduled to be complete by Wednesday evening, she said.

The spokeswoman said at least 15 victims were brought to area hospitals. Eleven patients were transported to Montreal General and four or five more were taken to two other area hospitals to ease the burden on Montreal General, she said.

Among the wounds being treated were gunshots to the head, abdomen, chest, arms and legs, she said. (Watch witnesses describe escaping through pools of blood -- 3:44)

Police set up perimeter

Police cordoned off the 12-acre campus after the incident and searched a nearby shopping mall for suspects, a police spokesman said.

A Montreal police spokesman told reporters that a SWAT team searched the college door-to-door for other suspects, but there was no word on whether any were found or apprehended.

Video showed students streaming from the campus after the midday shootings.

"People were literally running for their lives," said CTV reporter Genevieve Beauchemin, describing what students told her was a "stampede."

Emergency personnel and police, in bulletproof vests, wheeled people on two stretchers to ambulances.

A first-year student who didn't give her name said she saw one victim who had been shot in the leg being helped across the street, and another who had been shot in the stomach lying on the sidewalk. (Watch the scene inside the college, captured on a cell phone -- :50)

"We were just sitting in class, and we were listening to the teacher and we heard guns going off," the student said. "We looked outside and everyone was screaming and crying and there were people that got shot that were running away.

"And then our teacher left, and he came back and said the gunmen were inside and we had to leave."

Dawson College will be closed until Monday, Radio Canada reported.

The college has 7,000 day students and 3,000 night students, according to the Dawson Web site.

In Canada, students as young as 16 attend college, which generally serves as a bridge between high schools and universities.

This is not the first shooting at a Montreal college. About 17 years ago, Marc Lepine opened fire at Ecole Polytechnique. Fourteen female students were killed in the December 1989 shooting before Lepine killed himself.

Lepine left behind a three-page letter blaming feminists for his not being able to get into the school.

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