By Rob Gillies, AP
TORONTO — A 17-year-old boy was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder in a mass shooting at a school and home in a remote aboriginal community in western Canada, officials said.
Police said the male suspect can’t be named under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Supt. Grant St. Germaine said nine people were shot in the school, including a female teacher’s aide who died at the scene and a male teacher who died in a hospital. He said seven people wounded in Friday’s shooting at the school are hospitalized.
Two brothers, 17-year-old Dayne Fountaine and 13-year-old Drayden, were shot and killed in a home before the gunman headed to the grade 7-12 La Loche Community School, police said. Police responded to a call of shots fired at the school shortly after the lunch hour.
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. He is due in court next week.
Police said Saturday that they were not aware of a motive and declined to say what type of gun was used.
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,” St. Germaine said. “It’s a huge impact on the community of La Loche. It’s a part of changing times. We are seeing more violence.”
Residents lighted 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 Dec. 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. Deegan Park, her boyfriend of three years, said he would have given up the rest of his life just to spend another year with her.
“I grew up not a good guy, but she turned me right,” Park told The Associated Press. “She was that much of a great person to turn me right from all the wrongdoings I used to do. … She was a fantastic person.”
“I loved her, I really did,” said Park, who remembered her smile and how she would blush when she was happy.
Kevin Janvier said his daughter was an only child. “I’m just so sad,” he said.
Ashton Lemaigre, a teacher at the school and friend of Marie Janvier, said she worked as a teacher’s aide in his classroom. He said she was kind and patient with children and planned to get her teaching degree someday.
“The kids loved having her around,” Lemaigre said. “They would just come running to her. And she was just a friend to everybody.”