What we've already learned at the sentencing of the Saskatchewan school shooter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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What we've already learned at the sentencing of the Saskatchewan school shooter

Members of the RCMP stand outside the La Loche Community School in La Loche, Sask. Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. A sentencing hearing is to resume Tuesday for a teen who killed four people and injured seven in a shooting in La Loche, Sask., in January 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
June 12, 2017 - 7:00 AM

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. - A sentencing hearing is to resume Tuesday for a teen who killed four people and injured seven in a shooting in La Loche, Sask., in January 2016. The shooting happened at a home in the remote northern community and at the high school. The teen, who can't be named because he was just under 18 at the time, has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Here is a recap of some of the details revealed during the first week of the hearing last month:


An agreed statement of facts read on the first day of the hearing detailed the shooter's murderous path from a home in La Loche to the community's high school. Brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, who had just played video games with the killer the night before, were gunned down first. Dayne, 17, pleaded for his life and said "I don't want to die" before he was shot 11 times, including twice in the head. Drayden, 13, was shot twice in the head after running into the shooter outside the house and being led inside.

The shooter then posted messages online: "Just killed 2 ppl," and "Bout to shoot ip the school." Surveillance footage captured his frightening walk through the halls, his shotgun raised, as students and staff ran in fear. Teacher Adam Wood managed to call 911 before being shot in the torso and then once again while on the ground. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Teacher's aide Marie Janvier was shot when she ran to get help for a substitute teacher who was wounded when the shooter fired through the window of a classroom door. A photo showed Janvier's body lying face down in a hallway, a pool of blood under her face and chest. When police arrived, the shooter ran into a women’s washroom where he put down his weapon and gave himself up.


Court heard the shooter talked with a friend in September 2015 about shooting up the school, but the friend didn't take him seriously. The shooter researched school shootings and firearms on the Internet many times. There were suggestions in the aftermath of the shooting that the teen had been bullied at school, but he told police that wasn't the case. He told officers that he regretted shooting the two brothers, that they weren't part of the plan. Asked what his plan was, he responded: "Go to the school and shoot the f---ing kids." Asked who he was targeting, he said: "Nobody."

The teen's lawyer Aaron Fox said there isn't a simple explanation for what happened, noting his client has cognitive, social and developmental issues. "There's not a one-sentence answer to that question of why," Fox said.


Many teachers, students and community members took the stand to talk about how the shooting affected them. Teacher Peter Bradley, Wood's housemate, said he is often overwhelmed with grief and guilt. "I would often ask the question: 'Why not me?'" he said. "I felt guilty because I walked out of the school alive that day." Many want the shooter sentenced as an adult, including assistant principal Phyllis Longobardi, who was shot but survived. "He and he alone needs to own these crimes," she said. "He and he alone is responsible for these acts. Not bullying, not suicide, not poverty, not teachers, not friends or family pulled the trigger."


Dayne and Drayden's mother, Alicia Fontaine, told court that the shooter called her two days after the shooting to apologize. "I may be angry, but I'm not angry at him," she said. "It is true, my whole world is gone, but I know my babies are in a place where there is no pain. I have forgiven you."

The shooter's mother told court that she has also forgiven her son. "I am not a bad mother or person. If I knew and seen the signs that he was struggling in life, I could have stopped all of this from happening,'' she said. "Sometimes, as parents, we are unaware of the struggles that our children have."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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