Supreme Court to decide whether to hear appeal of La Loche shooter

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada is to decide today whether it will hear an appeal from a young man who killed four people and injured seven others in a mass shooting in northern Saskatchewan.

The shooter, now 22, was two weeks shy of turning 18 when he first killed two brothers at a home in the remote Dene community of La Loche in 2016.

Moments later he opened fire at his school, killing a teacher and a teacher’s aide and wounding other staff and students.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and attempted murder and was sentenced as an adult with no chance of parole for ten years.

Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal rejected his bid last year to be sentenced as a youth, and he wants the Supreme Court to revisit the ruling.

His lawyer has argued the sentencing judge did not fully consider his low IQ and that he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, while the Crown has said the shooting displayed sophisticated planning.

Court heard the shooter researched guns and did an online search the night before of “what does it feel like to kill someone.”

He had also been playing video games that night with Dayne Fontaine, 17, and Drayden Fontaine, 13 — his first two victims.

All three went to school the next morning, Jan. 22, 2016.

Court heard the shooter was a quiet young man who had some friends but didn’t like school work and was attempting Grade 10 for a third time.

At school that morning, he looked up websites on his cellphone about the infamous Columbine High School shooting in the United States.

After going home for lunch, the shooter went to the home of the brothers. He fired a .22 calibre rifle at Dayne, who tried to run away but was shot again, in the back of the head, and fell to the floor.

Court heard Dayne tried to cover his head and told his killer he didn’t want to die. He was shot again — a total of 11 times.

The younger brother, who was outside looking for a ride back to the school, soon after followed the shooter into the house and was shot in the head.

The shooter next returned to school, armed with a shotgun and ammunition in his pockets.

He fired at students in the foyer of the main entrance. Then he walked into the office and shot 36-year-old teacher Adam Wood. He would later die in hospital.

As staff and students ran screaming and hid in classrooms and under desks, he shot and killed Marie Janvier, a 21-year-old teacher’s aide, who was born and raised in the community.

Soon after, RCMP found him hiding in a school washroom.

He came out and told officers, “I’m the shooter.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2020

The Canadian Press

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