Canadian Student Kills 4 in Shootings at Home and School

Bullying may have been a motive for the shootings.

Four people were killed and seven others are hospitalized after a high school student in a remote town of Saskatchewan, Canada opened fire at his school and home.

Canadian police say a 17-year-old male, whose name has not been released, was arrested at gunpoint on Jan. 22 at Dene High School in La Loche, Saskatchewan, after the shooting, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Police received reports of an active shooter at the high school just after 1 p.m. local time and apprehended the suspect within 45 minutes, although some have reported that police arrested the shooter less than five minutes after entering the school. When police first arrived at the school, they noticed the main entrance’s door had been shot open, and eventually made the arrest outside of the school after the suspect ran from police, according to The Guardian.

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Authorities pronounced teaching assistant Marie Janvier, 21, dead at the scene and another teacher, 35-year-old Adam Wood, was later pronounced dead at the local hospital. CBC News reports that at least three other students were injured in the shooting, including one female whose injuries are described as life-threatening. Police have not released a motive in the shooting.

As police were investigating the tragedy at the high school, they received reports of fatalities at a nearby home. Authorities later announced that the shooting suspect’s brothers, Dayne Fontaine, 17, and Dayden Fontaine, 13, had been killed in their home. reports that the gunman posted a message on social media before entering the school that read “Just killed 2 ppl. Bout to shoot up the school.”

A 16-year-old student who was returning from lunch when the shooting occurred said his friends ran past him and urged him to flee as he approached the school. The student reported hearing several shots before his friends yelled “There’s a shotgun! There’s a shotgun!” Other witnesses have reported hearing shots fired both inside and outside of the school building.

The school was locked down immediately after the shooting began. Witnesses said several students hid in gym dressing rooms for hours after the incident.

Police said there were 150 staff and students at the school at the time of the incident. Dene High School, which teaches grades seven through 12, is part of the La Loche Community School system, which also includes an elementary school that was also locked down after the shooting. Together the two schools have a total enrollment of roughly 900 students.

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Some of the victims were taken to the La Loche Health Centre and Hospital, a local facility. In order to handle the sudden rush of victims, the small hospital brought in an additional two doctors and three nurses from a community hospital a few hours away.

Relentless bullying may be a motive for the shooting, according to the National Post, which reports that the shooter was frequently bullied about his large ears. Witnesses told the news source that at the time of the shooting, the teen dared people to tease him about his ears. He also chose not to shoot students who treated him kindly.

Community workers say that the village of La Loche has a history of youth suicide (three times Saskatchewan’s highest suicide rate), violence and addiction, reports CBC. They say the town’s youth have been neglected and should be provided services, including mental health and addiction programming tied to traditional indigenous culture.

The suspected shooter has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and one count of unauthorized use of a firearm.

Canadian citizens are required to have a license with them to buy or carry firearms. The country only recorded three mass murders involving guns between 2000 and 2014.

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