Monday 9 December 2019

School rampage: Boy (17) faces four charges of murder

A man lays a tribute at the scene of the shootings in La Loche Photo: AP
A man lays a tribute at the scene of the shootings in La Loche Photo: AP

Rob Gillies

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder in a mass shooting in a remote community in western Canada.

The male suspect, who cannot be named because of his age, is accused of shooting nine people at a school, including a female teacher's aide who died at the scene and a male teacher who died in a hospital.

Seven people wounded in the attack in the aboriginal village on Friday remain in hospital.

Two brothers, 17-year-old Dayne Fountaine and 13-year-old Drayden, were shot and killed in a home before the gunman headed to La Loche Community School for pupils aged from seven to 12.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commanding Officer Brenda Butterworth-Carr said when officers arrived at the school they saw the front door had been shot open. They entered the school, spotted the suspect and gave chase before apprehending him.

The boy is due in court next week but police say they have been unable to determine a motive. The school is in the remote Dene aboriginal community of La Loche in Saskatchewan Province.

La Loche is a community of less than 3,000 where just about everybody knows everybody else.

"This is a significant event for Canada," said Supt. Grant St Germaine.

"It's a huge impact on the community of La Loche. It's a part of changing times. We are seeing more violence."

Residents lit candles and placed flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the school.

Shootings at schools or on university campuses are rare in Canada. However, the country's bloodiest mass shooting occurred on December 6, 1989, at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, when Marc Lepine entered a college classroom at the engineering school, separated the men from the women, told the men to leave and opened fire, killing 14 women before killing himself.

The educational assistant killed at the Saskatchewan school was identified as 21-year-old Marie Janvier.

A second victim was identified as 35-year-old Adam Wood, a new teacher at the school.

Irish Independent

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