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Boy, 17 charged with four murders after shootings at school and home in Canada

Published 23/01/2016

La Loche Community School, the site of a shooting that left five people dead (AP)
La Loche Community School, the site of a shooting that left five people dead (AP)

Police on Saturday charged a 17-year-old boy with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder in a mass shooting at a school and home in an aboriginal community in western Canada, officials said.

Police said the male suspect cannot be named under Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Grant St Germaine said nine people were shot in the school, two fatally - a teacher and a teacher's aide. He said seven people wounded in Friday's shooting at the school are in hospital.

Police said two brothers, 17-year-old Dayne Fountaine and 13-year-old Drayden, were shot dead in a home before the gunman headed to the grade 7-12 La Loche Community School.

The suspect was arrested at the school on Friday afternoon. Police said they were not aware of a motive and declined to say what type of gun he used.

The school is in the remote Dene aboriginal community of La Loche in Saskatchewan Province. La Loche is a community of less than 3,000 where just about everybody knows everybody else.

"This is a significant event for Canada," Mr St Germaine said. "It's a huge impact on the community of La Loche. It's a part of changing times. We are seeing more violence."

Shootings at schools or on university campuses are rare in Canada. However, the country's bloodiest mass shooting occurred on December 6 1989, at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, when Marc Lepine entered a college classroom at the engineering school, separated the men from the women, told the men to leave and opened fire, killing 14 women before killing himself.

The educational assistant killed at the Saskatchewan school was identified as 21-year-old Marie Janvier. Deegan Park, her boyfriend of three years, 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," Mr Park said. "She was that much of a great person to turn me right from all the wrongdoings I used to do. ... She was a fantastic person."

"I loved her, I really did," said Mr Park, who remembered her smile and how she would blush when she was happy.

Kevin Janvier said his daughter was an only child. "I'm just so sad," he said.

Ashton Lemaigre, a teacher at the school and friend of Ms Janvier, said she worked as a teacher's aide in his classroom. He said she was kind and patient with children and planned to get her teaching degree someday.

"The kids loved having her around," Mr Lemaigre said. "They would just come running to her. And she was just a friend to everybody."

A second victim was identified as Adam Wood, a new teacher at the school. His family in Ontario issued a statement describing him as 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," his family said. "He was always up for a good challenge and lived each day joyously."

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, called it "every parent's worst nightmare."

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