TORONTO (AP) — A 17-year-old boy was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder in a mass shooting at a school and home in a remote aboriginal community in western Canada, officials said.
Police said the male suspect can't be named under Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Supt. Grant St. Germaine said nine people were shot in the school, including a female teacher's aide who died at the scene and a male teacher who died in a hospital. He said seven people wounded in Friday's shooting at the school are hospitalized.
Two brothers, 17-year-old Dayne Fountaine and 13-year-old Drayden, were shot and killed in a home before the gunman headed to the grade 7-12 La Loche Community School, police said. Police responded to a call of shots fired at the school shortly after the lunch hour.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commanding Officer Brenda Butterworth-Carr said when officers arrived at the school they saw the front door had been shot open. They entered the school, spotted the suspect and gave chase before apprehending him. He is due in court next week.
Police said Saturday that they were not aware of a motive and declined to say what type of gun was used.
The school is in the remote Dene aboriginal community of La Loche in Saskatchewan Province. La Loche is a community of less than 3,000 where just about everybody knows everybody else.
"This is a significant event for Canada," St. Germaine said. "It's a huge impact on the community of La Loche. It's a part of changing times. We are seeing more violence."
Residents lighted candles and placed flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the school.
Shootings at schools or on university campuses are rare in Canada. However, the country's bloodiest mass shooting occurred on Dec. 6, 1989, at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, when Marc Lepine entered a college classroom at the engineering school, separated the men from the women, told the men to leave and opened fire, killing 14 women before killing himself.
The educational assistant killed at the Saskatchewan school was identified as 21-year-old Marie Janvier. Deegan Park, her boyfriend of three years, said he would have given up the rest of his life just to spend another year with her.
"I grew up not a good guy, but she turned me right," Park told The Associated Press. "She was that much of a great person to turn me right from all the wrongdoings I used to do. ... She was a fantastic person."
"I loved her, I really did," said Park, who remembered her smile and how she would blush when she was happy.
Kevin Janvier said his daughter was an only child. "I'm just so sad," he said.
Ashton Lemaigre, a teacher at the school and friend of Marie Janvier, said she worked as a teacher's aide in his classroom. He said she was kind and patient with children and planned to get her teaching degree someday.
"The kids loved having her around," Lemaigre said. "They would just come running to her. And she was just a friend to everybody."
A second victim was identified as 35-year-old Adam Wood, a new teacher at the school. His family in Ontario issued a statement describing him as an adventurer with a passion for life who made people laugh until their stomachs hurt.
"Adam had just begun his teaching career in La Loche last September and was enjoying his time," his family said. "He was always up for a good challenge and lived each day joyously."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, called it "every parent's worst nightmare."
A student who was just returning from lunch when the shots were fired Friday 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 RCMP said the first reports of shots being fired at the school came in around 1 p.m. Friday, and parents and residents were warned to stay away. Witnesses said some students hid in gym dressing rooms for hours. A nearby elementary school was also placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said he is in a state of disbelief. He planned to visit La Loche on Sunday and promised to provide crisis support and counseling services. La Loche, like a number of aboriginal communities in Canada's prairie provinces, has been plagued by high suicide rates and poverty.
Wall added that U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman had offered the counsel of U.S. communities that have experienced school shootings.
"He noted that quite tragically the United States has more experience with the likes of what we saw in La Loche," Wall said.
Associated Press writer Charmaine Noronha in Toronto contributed to this report.
BANGKOK (AP) — A large chunk of metal that could be from an aircraft washed ashore in southern Thailand, but Malaysian authorities on Sunday cautioned against speculation of a link to a Malaysia Airlines flight missing almost two years.
Flight MH370 lost communications and made a sharp turn away from its Beijing destination before disappearing in March 2014. It is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, and only one piece of debris has been identified as coming from the plane, a slab of wing that washed ashore on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean last July.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said he instructed Malaysian civil aviation officials to contact Thailand about the newly found wreckage, a curved piece of metal measuring about 2 meters by 3 meters (6 ½ feet by 10 feet) with electrical wires hanging from it and numbers stamped on it in several places.
"I urge the media and the public not to speculate because it will give undue pressure to the loved ones of the victims of MH370," he said.
Thailand's Transportation Ministry said four Malaysian officials and two Thai experts will visit the site Monday.
Liow said the search for the missing jet, which carried 239 people, is ongoing in the southern Indian Ocean and that its second phase is expected to be completed by June. Australia has led a multinational search that has so far cost more than $120 million.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman Dan O'Malley said the agency was awaiting results of an official examination of the debris.
The debris was found on the eastern coast of southern Thailand's Nakkon Si Thammarat province, about 370 miles (600 kilometers) south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand.
While debris can drift thousands of miles (kilometers) on ocean currents, that location would be a surprise based on the data from Flight MH370.
The plane was tracked by radar flying over the South China Sea then making a sharp turn west for unknown reasons. It crossed the Malay Peninsula and Straits of Malacca, which would put it off Thailand's west coast.
Radar contact was lost shortly after the plane entered the airspace over the Indian Ocean. Analysis of exchanges between its engine and a satellite determined the plane flew south on a straight path for hours, leading authorities to believe it flew on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the water.
Associated Press writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.