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La Loche shooter asked about gift for anniversary of school attack

May 20, 2017 12:51 AM
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La Loche shooter asked about gift for anniversary of school attack

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — The teenager who killed four people and injured seven others in La Loche, Sask., last year asked staff at Kilburn Hall Youth Centre if they were buying him a gift for the one-year anniversary of his shooting spree.

The information was written in the shooter’s pre-sentence report, parts of which were read Friday in Meadow Lake provincial court on the fourth day of the teen’s sentencing hearing.

Tanis Fidler, the corrections worker who wrote the report, said she did not talk to the shooter about the request and did not know if it was a joke or if he was proud of his actions.

The teen, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was 17 years old on Jan. 22, 2016 when he shot and killed teen brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine in their home, then went to the community’s school and opened fire, killing teacher’s aide Marie Janvier and teacher Adam Wood. Seven others were injured at the school.

The pre-sentence report notes the shooter expressed sadness about killing the Fontaine brothers, but did not show the same remorse about the destruction he caused in the school.

According to the pre-sentence report, the shooter described feeling like he was in “a bad dream” after shooting the Fontaine brothers and thought, “What the f— am I doing, what the f— did I just do?”

The Crown asked Fidler why, given that reaction, the shooter then went to the school.

“I didn’t talk to him about that, we just sequenced what happened that day,” she responded.

The teen has been in custody at Kilburn Hall since the shooting. According to the pre-sentence report, staff there have noticed he glorifies serious crimes and, when he hears of mass shootings or ISIS bombing “he often talks about the issue with a smile on his face.”

Sections of the pre-sentence report read in court paint a picture of a young man who struggled in school and didn’t have a lot going for him. He had no father figure in his life and lived in a two-bedroom house with his mother, sister and three foster children.

One teacher interviewed for the report said she believed the shooter, who was about to fail Grade 10 for the third time, had “slipped through the cracks of the school system.” Another said the shooter was “a mystery box for educators” and was on a wait list to be tested to see if he qualified for some kind of special education programming.

At the time of the shooting, the teen shooter was smoking marijuana once or twice a day and spent a lot of time playing video games with 13-year-old Drayden or watching YouTube videos. He would sometimes go “car shopping” with friends — an activity that involves finding unlocked cars and going through them to find loose change. He didn’t appear to have made any plans for his future.

“We’re kind of looking at someone who’s a little bit of a lost soul here,” defence lawyer Aaron Fox remarked during a cross-examination of Fidler.

The shooter told Fidler he’d considered committing suicide after police stormed the school, but ultimately put the gun down because “he didn’t want to make his mom sad.”

Chris Hales, the shooter’s primary case worker at Kilburn Hall, told court Friday that the teen is generally well behaved and has “come a long way socially” in the last 15 months. The teen attends classes at the detention facility and his reading ability has increased about five grade levels since he was admitted in February 2016.

Hales said the teen sometimes becomes emotional at night, expressing sadness about the death of the Fontaine brothers and talking about self-harm, but those instances are becoming less common.

The teen’s sentencing hearing temporarily wrapped up Friday and is scheduled to resume for another four days starting June 13.

Before adjourning for the week, Judge Janet McIvor thanked everyone for the respect they have shown throughout the emotionally fraught hearing that featured haunting video surveillance footage of the school shooting and tearful victim impact statements.

“The community of La Loche has just conducted itself in such an admirable way,” she said.

Many of the people who read victim impact statements in court this week urged the judge to sentence the teen as an adult, which would result in an automatic sentence of life in prison. One notable exception was the mother of the Fontaine brothers, who told court she forgives the teen who robbed her of her sons.

“If it was up to me, I would not press charges for my two boys,” Alicia Fontaine said Thursday.

If sentenced as a youth, the shooter would face a maximum sentence of six years behind bars and four years under supervision in the community.

Source: torontosun.com

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