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The 'American Contagion' : There are still deadly school shootings in Canada

TORONTO -- A gunman opened fire at a high school and a second location in an aboriginal community in northern Saskatchewan on Friday, leaving four dead and at least two injured, officials said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said from Davos, Switzerland that a suspect was in custody. Trudeau initially said five died, but police later corrected that to four.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare," he said. "The community is reeling."

Kevin Janvier told The Associated Press that his 23-year old daughter Marie, a teacher, was shot dead by the gunman. He said police told him that the gunman first shot two of his siblings before killing his daughter.

"He shot two of his brothers at his home and made his way to the school," he said.

"I'm just so sad."

Marie was Janvier's only child. He said he didn't know if the shooter knew his daughter.

Trudeau said the shootings occurred at a high school and another location but did not release any information on the second location. School shootings are rare in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Chief Supt. Maureen Levy said the gunman was arrested outside the school but declined to release details about him.

Levy said she wasn't sure how many suffered injuries. The prime minister earlier described two injuries as critical.

"At the present time there are four individuals deceased," Levy said.

Levy declined to release more details, saying the investigation is in its early stages. She declined to give the sex or ages of the deceased.

A student who was just returning from lunch when shots were fired said his friends ran past him urging him to get out.

"'Run, bro, run!" Noel Desjarlais-Thomas, 16, recalled his friends saying to him as they fled La Loche's junior and senior high school.

"There's a shotgun! There's a shotgun! They were just yelling to me. And then I was hearing those shots, too, so of course I started running."

The grade 7 through 12 La Loche Community School is in the remote Dene aboriginal community of La Loche, Saskatchewan. The school's Facebook page said it would remain on lockdown until the Royal Canadian Police resolve the matter. It asked the public to stay away.

It was unclear how many died at the school. Police have yet to announce any details.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall earlier confirmed the shooting.

"Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche. My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community," he said in a statement.

The area's representative in parliament, who attended the same school, was setting up a constituency office in the community when the shooting occurred.

"We're fairly shaken up. It's a sad day," said Georgina Jolibois, who was mayor of La Loche until she was elected to parliament last fall. "My own nieces and nephews were inside the school."

Jolibois said she went to the school and spoke with some of her family members, who were unharmed. She wouldn't reveal details of the shooting, saying she preferred that police release the information.

Bobby Cameron, Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, said it was the worst tragedy to ever hit the community. The Dene are an aboriginal group who inhabit the northern parts of Canada.

"It's not something you ever imagine happening here. The whole community, province and country has been affected and we will all go into mourning," said Cameron, who attended graduations at the school for the past few years. "Right now we're just in a state of shock and disbelief."


Despite Canada's relatively strict gun controls, there are still occasional shootings at schools, universities and colleges in the country.

Friday afternoon, at least four people were killed in a shooting that involved a school in the small Saskatchewan community of La Loche. Two more people have been critically injured in the shooting.

Here's a list of other deadly school shootings that have happened in Canada.
2013: Les Racines de vie Montessori, Gatineau, Que.

On April 5, 2013, two men died during a shooting at the school's daycare. The shooter was identified as Robert Charron. Thirty-eight-year-old Neil Galliou was killed before Charron took his own life. Charron told staff to take the 53 children to safety before he opened fire.

Michelle Shegelski, 26, was one of three guards shot dead at the University of Alberta by Travis Baumgartner in June 2012. (Courtesy John Ernst)

2012: University of Alberta, Edmonton

Travis Baumgartner shot four of his co-workers — three fatally — in a robbery on the university campus on June 15, 2012. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced in 2013 to 40 years in prison with no chance of parole.
2007: C.W. Jeffries, Toronto

Jordan Manners, 15, died after being shot at his north-end Toronto school, C.W. Jeffries. Manners was a Grade 9 student.

Grade 9 student Jordan Manners was shot and killed at his north-end Toronto school in 2007. (CBC)

Two men were charged with first-degree murder in the death. They were referred to only as C.D. and J. W. because they were 17 years old at the time Manners was slain. After two trials, the two men were ultimately found not guilty.
2006: Dawson College, Montreal

One woman was killed after a shooting rampage at the Montreal CEGEP on Sept. 13, 2006. Another 19 people were injured — several seriously — in the shooting. The shooter, 25-year-old Kimveer Gill, shot himself after a shootout began with police at the college.
2004: Bramalea Secondary School, Brampton, Ont.

A 47-year-old teacher at the school, Aysegul Candir, was shot and killed by her husband, 62-year-old Erhun Candir , in the parking lot of the Brampton, Ont., school in 2004. No students were harmed and it was deemed a domestic dispute by police.

Candir was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in 2007.
1999: W.R. Myers High School, Taber, Alta.

A 14-year-old boy opened fire inside the W.R. Myers High School in Taber, Alta., on April 28, 1999. 
Jason Lang died after being shot at his school in Taber, Alta., in 1999. 

The shooting left 17-year-old student Jason Lang dead and another student was seriously injured. The shooter, who could not be identified because of his age, was sentenced to three years in secure custody, and another seven years of probation. 
1992: Concordia University, Montreal 

Prof. Valery Fabrikant fired on his colleagues on Aug. 24, 1992. He killed four people and wounded one more.
1989: L'Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal

Fourteen female students and a college employee were killed, and another 13 were injured In the worst school shooting in Canada's history.

On Dec. 6, 1989, Marc Lepine, 25, walked into a classroom in the school with a gun and separated the men and the women, telling the men to leave. He opened fire in the classroom, and then wandered the hallways of the school, committing suicide shortly after his rampage.

A ceremony on Mount Royal marks the 25th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre on Dec. 6, 2014 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)
1978: Sturgeon Creek School, Winnipeg

A 17-year-old student shot and killed a 16-year-old student at the Winnipeg high school on Oct. 19, 1978.
1975: Saint Pius X, Ottawa

An 18-year-old student, Robert Poulin, opened fire on his classmates on Oct. 27, 1975, killing two people and wounding four more before killing himself. He had also raped and killed a 17-year-old girl prior to the shooting.
1975: Centennial Secondary School, Brampton, Ont.

A 16-year-old student, Michael Slobodian, shot and killed a teacher and a student in the first recorded school shooting in Canada. He wounded another 13 people before killing himself.
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