Four dead in worst Canada school shooting in decade, suspect caught

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Four Dead In Canada School Shooting

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, and VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The gunman suspected of killing four people and injuring several others in Canada's worst school violence in a decade first shot his two brothers at home before opening fire at the remote community high school, a family friend and the town's acting mayor said on Friday.

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Police said a suspect was arrested after the shooting in La Loche, Saskatchewan, an impoverished community about 600 km (375 miles) north of the city of Saskatoon.

The town's acting mayor, Kevin Janvier, told the Associated Press that his 23-year-old daughter Marie, a teacher, was shot to death.

He also said police told him that the gunman first shot two of his siblings at home and then made his way to the school.

Officials have not given a motivation for the shooting or named the suspect or victims.

Mass shootings are rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States. In the country's worst school shooting, 14 college students were killed at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. A shooting in 1992 at Concordia University in Montreal killed four.

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La Loche, Saskatchewan, Canada school shooting
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Four dead in worst Canada school shooting in decade, suspect caught
A resident of La Loche, Saskatchewan, pays his respects on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 to the victims of a Friday school shooting. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
A man holds a rosary as police investigate the scene of a shooting at the community school in La Loche, Saskatchewan, on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The shooting took place on Friday. Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate a house Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 where two people were killed Friday before the shooting at the La Loche, Saskatchewan, junior and senior high school. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate the scene of a daytime shooting at the La Loche, Saskatchewan, junior and senior high school on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The shooting left four people dead. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
La Loche, Saskatchewan, Mayor Kevin Janvier and MLA Georgina Jolibois hug after speaking with media about the ongoing investigation of a Friday shooting at a school in La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police superintendent Grant St. Germaine speaks Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, with media in La Loche, Saskatchewan, about the ongoing investigation of a Friday shooting at a school in La Loche, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate the scene on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 of a Friday shooting at a school in La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate the scene on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 of a Friday shooting at a school in La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate the scene on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 of a Friday shooting at a school in La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate the scene of a daytime shooting at the La Loche, Saskatchewan, junior and senior high school on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police tape surrounds a shattered window at the scene of a daytime shooting at the La Loche, Saskatchewan, junior and senior high school on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Police investigate a house Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 where two people were killed Friday before the shooting at the La Loche, Saskatchewan, junior and senior high school. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Candles and flowers placed as a memorial lay near the La Loche, Saskatchewan, junior and senior high school on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The shooting occurred Friday. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
The outside of La Loche Community School is shown on Friday Jan. 22, 2016. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the shootings occurred at a high school and another location but did not say where else. School shootings are rare in Canada. The grade 7 through 12 La Loche Community School is in the remote aboriginal community of La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Joshua Mercredi/The Canadian Press via AP)
The outside of La Loche Community School is shown on Friday Jan. 22, 2016. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the shootings occurred at a high school and another location but did not say where else. School shootings are rare in Canada. The grade 7 through 12 La Loche Community School is in the remote aboriginal community of La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Joshua Mercredi/The Canadian Press via AP)

The outside of La Loche Community School is shown on Friday Jan. 22, 2016. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the shootings occurred at a high school and another location but did not say where else. School shootings are rare in Canada. The grade 7 through 12 La Loche Community School is in the remote aboriginal community of La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Joshua Mercredi/The Canadian Press via AP)

Chief Superintendent Maureen Levy briefs media at Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters in Regina following the fatal school shootings in La Loche, Saskatchewan, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP)

Chief Superintendent Maureen Levy briefs media at Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters in Regina following the fatal school shootings in La Loche, Saskatchewan, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP)
Saskatchewan gunman reportedly shot his 2 brothers at home before opening fire at high school; 4 dead total: https://t.co/iGw8UhOHdo
Our country's heart is breaking. We grieve with - and stand with - the people of La Loche today. Full statement: https://t.co/tWQAaewlX1
LIVE NOW: Justin Trudeau says 5 dead after Saskatchewan school shooting https://t.co/DCvRwYtwb8 https://t.co/i7h5ZNpjlx
BREAKING: Trudeau confirms 5 people dead in Saskatchewan shooting.
Heartbreaking news from #LaLoche #Saskatchewan. All Canadians united in grief over senseless loss of life. #cdnpoli
#BreakingNews - Police confirm two people have been killed in a school shooting in La Loche, SK.
PM @JustinTrudeau is set to make a statement soon on the school shooting in #LaLoche
My thoughts go to #LaLoche #Saskatchewan right now in the face of tragedy. #StayStrong
Very sad news out of #LaLoche, Saskatchewan. Tonight I'll be thinking of the victims & all those affected by these tragic events.
As an employee of the @SKGov, in the Ministry of Education, it's hard not to feel as though this remote violence is closer #LaLoche
When we find out who did the school shooting in La Loche, I will not tweet his name. I will focus on the victims & community.
Since 2000, Canada's had 7 gun shootings at schools, with 6 dead total. La Loche shooting is the 8th. I wish those families strength.
School shooting in Saskatchewan. Two dead, one injured. One person arrested. What a nightmare for the parents. Such a senseless tragedy.
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A family friend said the teenaged 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."

The shooting occurred in the high school and a second location, Canadian police said, adding they took the suspect into custody outside the school and seized a gun.

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 Friday evening in Saskatoon, the province's largest city.

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"Everyone is still in shock and disbelief," Cameron said. "It's a very, very horribly tragic event."

La Loche student Noel Desjarlais told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that 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."

A cellphone video taken by one resident and broadcast by the CBC showed students walking away from the school across the snow-covered ground and emergency personnel moving in.

"Obviously this is every parent's worst nightmare," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who initially reported five people were killed. He was in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum.

Among Canada's provinces, Saskatchewan had the highest rate of police-reported family violence in 2014, double the national rate of 243 incidents per 100,000 people, according to a Statistics Canada report on Thursday.

Extra doctors and nurses were sent to treat patients in Keewatin Yatthe Regional Health Authority's 16-bed hospital, said spokesman Dale West. He declined to say how many people had been injured.

"It's really sad in La Loche today, very depressing," said Tenisha Lemaigre, who lives in the town of less than 3,000 people and said she knew many students.

Unemployment runs above 20 percent in the area but three-quarters of working-age people are classified as retired or not looking for work, according to 2011 government figures. Residents say the real unemployment rate is above 50 percent.

In 2014, a teacher expressed concern about violence at the La Loche school, noting that a student who had tried to stab her was put back in her classroom after serving his sentence, and another attacked her at her home.

"That student got 10 months," Janice Wilson told the CBC of the student who tried to stab her in class. "And when he was released he was returned to the school and was put in my classroom."

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