An east end Ottawa school is mourning the death of a young student tonight.

8-year-old Griffin Martin died at Orléans Wood Elementary School Friday afternoon. First responders raced to the school on Décarie Drive just before noon for a medical emergency.

A cold February wind whips the flag at the school, lowered to half-mast in memory of Griffin Martin.

“It's really sad, you know,” says one woman walking her dog outside Orléans Wood Elementary. Her daughter had attended the school. She was walking by Friday when she saw the emergency unfold.

“I saw the ambulance people doing CPR like this on the little boy,” she says, “He didn't come through.”

“It's very sad,” says another man who lives across from the school, “Like I said, I'm curious to know why.”

There have been a lot of questions about how this could have happened; how a seemingly healthy, happy 8-year-old goes to school one morning and doesn't come home.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board said that a media report that the tragedy involved a fall was categorically wrong, stating that this was a medical emergency.

“This was a regular school day,” the board said in a statement, “and there was no reported or observed event, accident or incident of concern prior to the medical issues that arose."

The children attending Orléans Wood Elementary school are young; it only goes to Grade 3. Kids were greeted this morning by staff both outside and inside the school and offered counselling as well.

‘It’s unnerving to see the parents with the police and everything else,” says John Dagenais, who lives across the street.

The death has shaken the tight-knit community, with many parents posting on the school’s Facebook account.

"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of this poor boy,” said one post.

“Devastating news. No parent should ever have to endure this loss,” said another.

Keith Penny is the school board trustee for the area, “Me personally? I'm deeply saddened and shocked by the events of Friday. All the trustees as well, the entire senior staff was totally broken up over tragic events.”

The school hopes to have more information about how to support the Martin family in the coming days and more information about the events of this particular day in due time.