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Friday, January 22, 2016

Canada is NOT immune to gun violence...
4 dead in La Loche, Saskatchewan school shooting

Four people have been killed in a shooting at a school in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, RCMP have confirmed Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke from Davos, Switzerland about the incident, initially reporting that five had been killed.

“I want to thank the first responders who acted quickly and bravely,” Trudeau said.
RCMP have confirmed that one male was taken into police custody outside the school and a firearm was seized. Aside from the deceased there are an unknown number of people injured in the shooting.

Chief Supt. Maureen Levy said police were investigating two locations, a residence in the 300 block of Dene Crescent and the La Loche Community School.

La Loche Community School said on its Facebook page there was an emergency situation at the Dene Building and are asking the public to stay away while the RCMP investigates.

“The elementary school is also under a lock down which will not be lifted until we hear that it is safe from the La Loche RCMP. We will not be allowing anyone in or out until we have a clear idea of what is going on.”

A STARS air ambulance from Saskatoon has been dispatched to the La Loche area, according to the STARS Twitter account.

La Loche SK Canada

Kevin Janvier, acting mayor of La Loche, told CKBI radio that his daughter was one of the victims.

Premier Brad Wall said in a statement he was shocked by “the horrific events today in La Loche.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community,” Wall said. “Thank you to the RCMP and all the emergency personnel who responded quickly to the shootings.”

Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche. My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community.
Thank you to the RCMP and all the emergency personnel who responded quickly to the shootings. Saskatchewan Education and Social Services will be available to provide all necessary crisis support and counselling services to the school and the community.

According to the school’s Facebook page, La Loche Community School is for pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 students, and houses approximately 900 kids in two buildings.

The RCMP said in a news release that parents were being asked to not go to the Dene Building due to the “active, ongoing incident.” The RCMP asked they only go to Ducharme elementary school.

“We are in the preliminary stages of investigation,” the RCMP said. “Further details will be provided as they become available.”

Buckley Belanger, the NDP MLA for the area told Global News that the community of La Loche is pulling together to deal with the tragedy.

“La Loche is a great community. They’ve done so many wonderful things and I’ve said to a number of people that the school system in La Loche is a beacon of hope,” Belanger said. “I just pray and I hope everyone prays along with me that everyone else is safe and for those that may have been impacted by this, that there are prayers needed all around.”

"Everybody is just showing tremendous leadership,” Belanger said. “Hopefully when all this is over with, we have the strength to continue the work that’s needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Georgina Jolibois, the NDP MP for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding, Tweeted she is “praying for those affected by the shooting at La Loche Community School and thinking about my family members who are at the school.”

In a statement Jolibois said the shooting hits close to home.

“As the former mayor of La Loche, I am shocked and saddened by the shooting in the Dene Building at the La Loche Community School in my riding. The shooting hits close to home for me as my family members attend the school,” Jolibois said.

“The community of La Loche is strong and closely knit. We have faced adversity in the past and we will persevere. My thoughts and prayers are with all students, staff and families affected as we begin on the path of healing as a community.”

La Loche is a remote Dene Nation community of about 3,000 people located roughly 600 kilometres from Saskatoon.

© Shaw Media, 2016

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