Mounties say three people, including two innocent bystanders, were injured in a shooting at a mall in northwest Alberta.
RCMP Supt. John Ferguson says a couple was grazed by a bullet at the Prairie Mall in Grande Prairie on Thursday afternoon.
Police say two groups of men got into an altercation near the food court and someone fired a gun once.
One of the men was hit, and has a serious, but non life-threatening injury.
Ferguson says the couple's children saw them get injured.
Police searching for suspect
He says police are searching for one suspect.
"Right now one primary suspect, but we are looking to speak with other individuals who were present and who we believe have information pertaining to this incident,'' Ferguson said Friday.
Witnesses described what they saw Thursday.
Jeannette LaFlamme was in the north end of the mall waiting for an appointment.
"All of a sudden, there were people coming in droves on the north end of the mall essentially, not running out of the mall but getting out of the mall as fast as they could,'' she told radio station CJXX/CIKT.
"We had one person come and tell the store to close up shop because two people had been shot at the food court."
"We had one person come and tell the store to close up shop because two people had been shot at the food court.''
Barb Verhaegag had just gone into the mall with her son.
"We heard what sounded like, and was later confirmed by other witnesses, to be a gunshot in the food court,'' said Verhaegag. "We looked around and all the stores were panicky, closing their doors.''
A woman who didn't want her name used told the radio station she saw a group of males ``acting weird'' before they grabbed at a man with a bag and a shot was fired.
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On Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, the small northern community of La Loche, Sask., was sent reeling after a mass shooting.
La Loche is home to 3,000 people, many of whom are members of the Dene First Nation. The community is located on the eastern shore of Lac La Loche in the northern boreal forest.
On Friday, Jan. 22, two brothers, Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, were shot at a home on the 300 block of Dene Crescent. There is a chilling exchange between friends chatting online. "Just killed 2 ppl,'' a young man writes to his friends. "Bout to shoot ip the school.''
Drayden, 17, and Dayne, 13, were "quiet kids, loving kids," their uncle Don Herman told CBC News. The grandfather of the two teens told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix that he can't believe his "two babies" are dead. "They were my best friends." The pair were later buried side by side at the local cemetery. The mother to both boys, Alicia Fontaine, posted about her grief on Facebook after the shooting. "My heart shattered into a million pieces,'' she wrote. "So sad I don't have no more babies.''
Around 1 p.m., the shooter moved to the school, where he opened fire. Police begin receiving calls from frantic students and teachers who say there is a shooter in the high school. Students, just returning from lunch, flee for their lives. Some run for the doors, others hide in classrooms and in gym dressing rooms. Officers apprehended him in under 10 minutes, but not before two staff members were killed, and seven others injured.
Jan. 22, between 1:08 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. — Police arrive at the school. Officers see the outside door has been shot. They see a shooter inside and chase him deeper into the school. Jan. 22, 1:15 p.m. — Police challenge the shooter and he surrenders without negotiation or incident. Officers find nine people shot. Teacher's aide Marie Janvier, 21, dies at the school. Teacher Adam Wood, 35, is rushed to hospital, but cannot be saved.
Marie Janvier was a 21-year-old teacher's aide at the school. She was killed in the shooting. Ashton Lemaigre, said Janvier loved her new job. He says she was kind and patient with children and talked about getting her teaching degree someday. "The kids loved having her around,'' Lemaigre said. "When we were out and about kids would say 'Hi.' They would just come running to her. And she was just a friend to everybody.''
Adam Wood, 35, had moved to the town in September from Uxbridge, Ont., to teach at the school. Wood died in the attack. His family in Ontario said in a statement that Wood was an adventurer with a passion for life who made people laugh until their stomachs hurt. "Adam had just begun his teaching career in La Loche last September and was enjoying his time,'' the statement reads. "He was always up for a good challenge and lived each day joyously.''
A 17-year-old male, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged on Saturday, Jan. 23, with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and one count unauthorized possession of a firearm. "It's a very sad and difficult time and no words will take away the pain and sorrow of what's happened," RCMP Supt. Grant St. Germaine said in a press conference.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall promised that necessary crisis support and counselling services would be provided to the community. "My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community," Wall wrote on Facebook.
Jan. 29 — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits La Loche. He assures the community that his government will offer support for years to come.
Feb. 26 — Students return to the high school after changes are made, including added security and counsellors.
Oct. 28 — The accused, who has turned 18, pleads guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. The Crown says it wants him sentenced as an adult. Two weeks are set aside for a sentencing hearing in May and June.
Jan. 9, 2017 — Greg Hatch, principal of the La Loche high school, says students and staff are still suffering and feel they've been abandoned to deal with the trauma alone.