The still as yet unnamed gunman from the shooting at Dene High School at the La Loche Community School, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of school employees Marie Janvier and Adam Wood. He has also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the deaths of brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, who were shot and killed at a residence prior to the school shooting. The gunman was 17 at the time of the shootings and under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act, the shooter can not be named.
Which brings us to sentencing. Previously prosecutors have stated that they are seeking to have the gunman sentenced as an adult. The gunman was around a month away from his 18th birthday when he committed these crimes and many relatives of his victims and the victims that lived would also like to see him sentenced as an adult. If he is to be sentenced as a juvenile he would only be in detention for 10 years, while an adult sentencing would mean a mandatory life sentence with parole being deferred 25 years for each victim.
While no official motive has been given to the shootings, some reports say that the gunman was teased about his ears. If he thinks that’s a reason to commit a killing spree then he most definitely needs to be locked away for the rest of his natural life.
His next scheduled court appearance is scheduled for January 31st.
UPDATE 5/19/2017: During the sentencing hearing witnesses testified that the gunman asked workers at the juvenile detention facility if he was going to receive a gift for the one year anniversary of the shootings?
I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.
UPDATE 10:00 PM EST:The RCMP are now saying that there have been four fatalities, a male suspect has been taken into custody and that the shooting took place not just at Dene High School at the La Loche Community School but also a second location that was residential. There’s believed to be two fatalities at each location. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the separate locations remind me of both the shooting at Red Lake High School in Minnesota and the Thurston High shooting in Oregon where those gunmen had killed family members before killing more at their schools. I’m not claiming that’s what happened just noting eerie similarities.
Thanks to Harding for the tip.
UPDATE 1/23/2016 12:20 AM EST:The National Post is reporting, among other outlets, that the shooter posted a message to Facebook of his intentions to kill. This has not been substantiated by the RCMP however when I was watching the live stream from the CBC the news broadcast stated that the message indicated that the shooter had already killed two people before heading to the school. I can’t say for certain this is the case since social media is a breeding ground for hoaxes whenever a tragedy like this strikes.