La Loche Shooting: Murder Charges Laid Against 17-Year-Old Male

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A 17-year-old male has been charged in Friday's shooting in La Loche, Sask., RCMP said Saturday.

The male, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and one count unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Four people were killed in shootings at two locations. Brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, 17 and 14, were killed at a residence on Dene Crescent. Marie Janvier, 21, and Adam Wood, 35, were shot at La Loche Community School, RCMP Supt. Grant St. Germaine said in a press conference Saturday.

St. Germaine said he also doesn't know if the victims were sought out or targeted at random.

grant st germaine la loche shooting
RCMP superintendent Grant St. Germaine speaks with media in La Loche, Sask., about the ongoing investigation of a Friday shooting at a school in La Loche. The shooting left four people dead. (CP)

A 16-year-old student at the school forwarded to The Canadian Press a screenshot of a chilling exchange that had taken place on social media a short time before the shooting between a young man and his friends.

"Just killed 2 ppl,'' wrote the young man. "Bout to shoot ip the school.''

As phone calls started coming in from panicked students and teachers about a shooter on the loose, RCMP sped down the street to the local high school and found its main doors blasted with holes.

la loche shooting memorial
Candles and flowers placed as a memorial lay near the La Loche, Sask., junior and senior high school as police investigate the scene of a daytime shooting at the school on Jan. 23, 2016. (CP)

Mounties say one officer quickly spotted a boy with a gun inside and chased him through the building. Within a few minutes, and without a fight, police say he surrendered.

But so much damage had already been done.

RCMP said that during the eight minutes the teen was in the La Loche Community school on Friday afternoon shortly after 1 p.m., he shot nine people. Two staff members died. Janvier, who was a teacher's aide, died at the scene while Wood, a teacher, died of his wounds shortly after arriving at the La Loche hospital.

la loche school mass shooting saskatchewan
Police tape surrounds a shattered window at the scene of a daytime shooting at the La Loche, Sask., junior and senior high school on Jan. 23, 2016. (CP)

Janvier had graduated from the school two years earlier and was hired as a teacher's aide last fall, said friend Ashton Lemaigre.

She was kind and patient with children and talked about going to university to become a teacher.

Her boyfriend, Deegan Park, 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 said. "I loved her."

Wood had also just started work at the school in September as a teacher.

"Adam was quite an adventurer, had a passion for life, and would often make you laugh until your stomach hurt," said a statement released by his family in Ontario.

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Drayden and Dayne Fontaine were found dead in the house. Their mother wrote on Facebook that she was devastated.

"My heart shattered into a million pieces," said Alicia Fontaine. "So sad I don't have no more babies."

Brittney Lemaigre described her friend Dayne as a funny and caring guy with "a heart of gold."

RCMP didn't release details on whether the seven injured were staff or students. They said four were flown to a Saskatoon hospital and the remaining were to be transported out later when snowy weather conditions improved.

Students recalled a terrifying scene as they fled for their lives when gunfire first erupted in the school. Some said they ran for the doors when they saw a shotgun, while others hid in gym dressing rooms for hours.

Investigators are still gathering evidence from a residence in the 300 block of Dene Crescent and from La Loche Community School.

"It's a very sad and difficult time and no words will take away the pain and sorrow of what's happened," St. Germaine said.

brad wall la loche shooting
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is seen at a news conference in Regina on Jan. 23, 2016. Wall was commenting on the shooting in La Loche, Sask., on Friday. (CP)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said every student and teacher should feel safe going to school. He planned to visit the community Sunday to ensure it has enough resources, including counselling.

Acting mayor Kevin Janvier said the tragedy has hurt everyone in La Loche.

"Hearts have been broken, our faith has been shaken and lost today," he said. "As we move forward together, we will be doing so in an effort to heal as a community."

With files from Jennifer Graham, The Canadian Press

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