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Saskatchewan shootings: four dead in separate killings at school and house

2Four people have been killed and at least two others injured in shootings at a school and a property in northern Canada that prime minister Justin Trudeau described as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
The gunman is suspected of first shooting his two brothers at home before opening fire at the remote community high school in La Loche, Saskatchewan, a family friend and the town’s acting mayor said on Friday.
The school was sealed off and one male was later taken into custody following the country’s worst gun violence in a decade.
Acting mayor Kevin Janvier told the Associated Press his 23-year-old daughter, Marie, a teacher, was among those killed by the shooter. “He shot two of his brothers at his home and made his way to the school,” Janvier was quoted as saying. “I’m just so sad.”
Marie was Janvier’s only child. He said he didn’t know if the shooter knew his daughter.
A family friend said the teenage suspect shot his two younger brothers before going to the school and shooting a teacher and an assistant.
“After he shot his two brothers, he walked back to school and he shot … a teacher and a girl. They’re both dead. Four of them died,” said Joe Lemaigre, a family friend who lives on the outskirts of La Loche. “I know the family. Their mother worked in Fort McMurray and his grandfather went to Meadow Lake to do some shopping. That’s when he shot them.”
La Loche student Noel Desjarlais told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation he heard multiple shots fired at the school, which has about 900 students.
“I ran outside the school,” Desjarlais said. “There was lots of screaming, there was about six, seven shots before I got outside. I believe there was more shots by the time I did get out.”
Late on Friday, police revised down the total number of dead from five. In a media briefing, Chief Superintendent Maureen Levy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that chaos in the immediate wake of the shooting made some of the early information unreliable.
“In incidents such as this there is a lot of information going back-and-forth very quickly,” Levy said.
She did not confirm the number of injured or the extent of their injuries or any further information about the casualties or the suspect, saying the police force wanted to “ensure the integrity of the investigation”.
Prime minister Justin Trudeau, speaking from Davos earlier, said: “We all grieve with and stand with the community of La Loche and all of Saskatchewan on this tragic day. This is every parent’s worst nightmare.”
La Loche in Saskatchewan.
Clearwater River Dene Nation chief Teddy Clark told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix that La Loche was “devastated” by the shooting.

“Both Clearwater and La Loche, a lot of people are in shock. This is something that you only see on TV most of the time.”
Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, which represents more than 70 of the province’s Indian bands, said a few students were in surgery on Friday evening in Saskatoon, the province’s largest city.
“Everyone is still in shock and disbelief,” Cameron said. “It’s a very, very horribly tragic event.”
The province’s RCMP division confirmed on Friday night that they received a report at 1pm of an active shooter in the community and at 1.47pm took one male into custody and seized a firearm.
Grade 10 student Noel Desjarlais described the chaos at the La Loche community school in an interview with CBC News.
“I ran outside the school,” he said. “There was lots of screaming, there was about six, seven shots before I got outside. I believe there was more shots by the time I did get out.”
On its Facebook page, the school urged the public to stay away while the incident was handled by police.
“We will not be allowing anyone in or out until we have a clear idea of what is going on,” a post on the page said.
The lockdown on the school that had been in place for hours was lifted late on Friday and children at the school were moved to a safe location, Levy said.
The school houses about 900 students in two buildings, an elementary school and the Dene high school.
While details of the incident remained scarce, Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said in a statement “words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today”.
Federal New Democrat MP Georgina Jolibois, a former mayor of the community, also said she was “shocked and saddened by the shooting”.
“The community of La Loche is close-knit. We have faced adversity in the past and we will persevere,” she said.
By Friday evening, hundreds of messages of condolences from all over the world filled the La Loche community school’s Facebook page, sending a message of solidarity to the school and community of about 2,600 people.
A medical transport helicopter was sent from Saskatoon to the community to deal with the emergency, according to the Stars ambulance Twitter account.
The remote town in the north-western corner of the prairie province is bordered by the Clearwater River Dene Nation. The community’s struggles with high rates of suicide and self-harm among its predominantly aboriginal population has been documented in recent years by the local health authority and media.
The federal statistics agency on Thursday also released data indicating Saskatchewan has the highest rates of police-reported family violence among the provinces, almost double the national rate.
While the United States faces a disproportionate amount of mass gun violence compared with Canada, America’s northern neighbour has not escaped the tragedy of school shootings.
In 1989, 14 women were killed by shooter Marc Lépine at the École Polytechnique in Montreal before he killed himself. The massacre shocked the nation and galvanized the Canadian public against gun violence and is marked annually with a national day of remembrance.
In 1999, just eight days after Colorado’s Columbine high school massacre, 14-year-old gunman Todd Cameron Smith killed 17-year-old Jason Lang at W.R. Myers high school in Alberta.
And in 2006, 18-year-old student Anastasia De Sousa was killed and 19 people injured when 25-year-old Kimveer Gill opened fire at Montreal’s Dawson College. Gill killed himself after being shot by police.