La Loche shootings

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La Loche shootings
Dene High School.JPG
La Loche Community School's Dene Building
LocationLa Loche, Saskatchewan, Canada
Coordinates56°29′58″N 109°27′11″W / 56.49944°N 109.45306°W / 56.49944; -109.45306
(Dene Crescent)
56°29′18″N 109°26′43″W / 56.48833°N 109.44528°W / 56.48833; -109.44528Coordinates: 56°29′18″N 109°26′43″W / 56.48833°N 109.44528°W / 56.48833; -109.44528
(Dene Building)
DateJanuary 22, 2016; 3 years ago (2016-01-22)
c. 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. (CST)
Attack type
Spree shooting, school shooting
MotiveReaction to school bullying (possibly)
VerdictLife imprisonment with no chance of parole for ten years.

On January 22, 2016, four people were killed and seven others injured in a shooting spree in La Loche, Saskatchewan, Canada. Two male cousins were killed at their home, and two teachers were killed at the Dene Building of the La Loche Community School.[1][2][3][4][5] A 17-year-old male suspect was apprehended and placed into custody.[6][7]


Dene Building on January 24

According to police, the shootings began at a residence in the 300 block of Dene Crescent, where the suspect shot two of his cousins some time before 1:00 p.m.[2][8][9][10] He then went to La Loche Community School's Dene Building[a] and began firing at around 1:05, shortly before lunch ended,[13] reportedly with a shotgun.[14][15] He fired at least six or seven shots inside the building, killing a teacher and an assistant and wounding seven others.[1][3][5][9] The school shooting lasted for about eight minutes.[16]

Between 1:08 and 1:10, a suspect with a gun was spotted by a responding officer, who chased him through the building and eventually arrested him outside at 1:15.[8][16] Afterwards, police were notified of the bodies at the residence on Dene Crescent.[8] Both the Dene Building and the elementary school were put on lockdown during the shooting.[17] The suspect reportedly posted his intentions on Facebook.[18][19]

Of about 350 enrolled students, around 150 were at school at the time, since many had taken final exams that morning and had no further classes.[20]


The deceased victims were identified as brothers Dayne, 17, and Drayden Fontaine, 13; and teachers Adam Wood, 35, and Marie Janvier, 21.[21] Janvier and the Fontaine brothers died at the scene, and Wood later died in the local hospital.[16] Seven other people were injured.[1] The four most seriously wounded were flown to and hospitalized at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.[15][22] All were in critical condition two days after the shootings, according to an official in the Saskatchewan government.[23] On January 27, an official said three had been released.[24] A fourth was released on February 12.[22]


Police have not released the name of the suspect as he is protected by a publication ban per Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act.[21] They said he was a student at the school and that he is 17.[6][13][25] According to friends, he was bullied at school for his appearance.[26]

Reactions and aftermath[edit]

Media vehicles on La Loche Avenue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and other Canadian politicians issued statements expressing their condolences and shock at the shooting.[17][27][28][29] Wall pledged counselling support and to cover costs for those travelling to see the hospitalized victims in Saskatoon. Kevin Janvier,[b] the acting mayor of La Loche, and Georgina Jolibois, MP for the Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River electoral district, called to have the school torn down and rebuilt in light of the trauma caused by the shootings.[23]

On January 23, prior to a hockey game at the Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens had a minute of silence for the victims.[31]

Flowers at the Dene Building

RCMP Superintendent Grant St. Germaine called the incident the worst shooting tragedy in Canadian history at a high school or elementary school.[30] Reuters reported that it was the worst Canadian school shooting since the École Polytechnique massacre of 1989, in which fourteen were killed.[32][c]

Classes at La Loche Community School were suspended immediately after the shooting. On January 26, the local school board, Northern Lights School Division No. 113, told parents the school would reopen in seven to ten more days, though the reopening was postponed to at least February 22.[20][33] Plans to tear down the school were considered, but not passed.[34] It said that it was willing to implement a security program at that time, following community discussion on what that should entail. In the meantime, the elementary school building remains open for students to gather, receive counselling, and play floor hockey.[20] Exams for the first semester were cancelled for students who had not taken them on the morning of the shootings.[35]

On January 29, Trudeau and Wall visited La Loche, where the former met with community leaders. Earlier that morning, a moment of silence was held in schools located across Saskatchewan.[36]

Legal proceedings[edit]

On January 23, the suspect was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder, and one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm.[6] Two days later, he was arraigned in a provincial court in Meadow Lake, then remanded to a youth facility. As of August 2016, the suspect had appeared in court seven times and his next court date was scheduled for October 28. Authorities have stated that they would like to sentence him as an adult if he is convicted.[37][38] On October 28, 2016 the teen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.[39] On May 8, 2018, the gunman was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for ten years.[40] On October 31, 2019, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals upheld his conviction and adult sentence.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Dene Building houses grades 7 through 12 and is sometimes referred to as Dene High School.[11][12]
  2. ^ Marie Janvier's father was also named Kevin Janvier but was a different person.[30]
  3. ^ Four were killed and one wounded at the Concordia University massacre in 1992.[32]


  1. ^ a b c Gordon, Julie; Nickel, Rod (January 23, 2016). "Remote Canadian community reels from shootings". Duluth News Tribune. Reuters. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Tait, Carrie (January 24, 2016). "Accused in La Loche shooting is related to two victims". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Warick, Jason (January 23, 2016). "'Right now, La Loche is devastated:' Saskatchewan school shooting leaves four dead". Calgary Sun. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "Canada school shooting: Five killed in Saskatchewan". BBC. January 22, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "La Loche, Sask., shooting death toll left 4 dead, RCMP say". CBC. January 22, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Warick, Jason (January 23, 2016). "'They were my best friends'; Grandfather of slain La Loche boys mourns (w/ video)". The Star Phoenix. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Martinez, Michael; Ellis, Ralph (January 22, 2016). "Four dead, several injured in shooting in Saskatchewan school". CNN. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "La Loche Shooting: A Timeline Of Events". Huffington Post Canada. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Nickel, Rod; Gordon, Julie (January 22, 2016). "Four dead in worst Canada school shooting in decade, suspect caught". Yahoo! News. Reuters. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  10. ^ "Eye-witness accounts of the La Loche school shooting". Global News. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  11. ^ Jacobo, Julia (January 22, 2016). "4 Dead in Canada School Shooting, 2 Critically Injured". ABC News. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  12. ^ "La Loche". Northern Lights School Division No. 113. n.d. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "'My school is a good school': La Loche shooting survivor tells her story". Russia Today. January 22, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  14. ^ Markusoff, Jason (January 27, 2016). "La Loche: A small town's grief. A nation's shame". Maclean's. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Quan, Douglas (January 28, 2016). "Inside the deadly school shooting that shattered La Loche". National Post. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c King, Robin Levinson; Spurr, Ben (January 23, 2016). "La Loche teen facing four first-degree murder counts in shooting spree". The Star. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Slattery, Denis (January 22, 2016). "Four dead in La Loche, Canada, school shooting; suspect in custody". The New York Daily News. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  18. ^ MacPherson, Alex; Modjeski, Morgan; Deibert, Dave (January 22, 2016). "Alleged La Loche shooter sent 'chilling' chat messages about killing two people before heading to school". Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "La Loche school shooting suspect allegedly posted intentions on Facebook: report". National Post. January 22, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c Purdy, Chris (January 27, 2016). "La Loche school could have security when classes resume after shooting". Toronto Star. Canadian Press. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Police charge 17-year-old boy with four counts of first-degree murder in La Loche mass shooting". National Post. The Canadian Press. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "La Loche Shooting Victim Released From Hospital". Huffington Post Canada. February 12, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  23. ^ a b CBC News staff (January 24, 2016). "La Loche shooting: Mayor, local MP call for school to be 'torn down'". CBC News. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  24. ^ "3 La Loche shooting victims released from hospital". CBC News. January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  25. ^ "Saskatchewan community in shock after 4 killed in mass shooting". CTV News. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  26. ^ "Suspect in La Loche shooting was bullied, a loner, says source close to accused". Toronto Star. January 25, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  27. ^ Alexander, Harriet (January 22, 2016). "Canada school shooting: five killed at La Loche school - latest". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  28. ^ "La Loche shooting: Condolences pour in for victims". CTV News. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  29. ^ "Saskatchewan will reach out to U.S. officials after La Loche shooting: Wall". CTV News. January 24, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Tait, Carrie (January 24, 2016). "Two staff, two brothers named as Sask. school shooting victims". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  31. ^ "Around the League notebook: Saturday, Jan. 23". National Hockey League. January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  32. ^ a b "Canada gunman kills four in worst shooting since '89". The Japan Times. Reuters. January 23, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  33. ^ "La Loche Community School to remain closed". CBC News. February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  34. ^ "Wall says La Loche school that was site of deadly shooting will be utilized". CTV News. February 9, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  35. ^ "La Loche Community School Facebook post". Facebook. January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  36. ^ Giles, David; Lett, Doug (January 29, 2016). "Trudeau arrives in La Loche after 'heartbreaking' school shooting". Global News. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  37. ^ Swiderski, Colton (August 29, 2016). "Accused in La Loche shooting elects trial by judge and jury". Battlefords Now. North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  38. ^ Swiderksi, Colton (July 19, 2016). "Court case for accused La Loche shooter adjourned". Battlefords Now. North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  39. ^ Teen charged in deadly La Loche, Sask., shooting pleads guilty
  40. ^ Giles, David; Kessler, Ryan (May 8, 2018). "La Loche school shooter sentenced to life in prison". Corus Entertainment Inc. Global News. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  41. ^

External links[edit]

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