The opening two hours of video from a six-hour long police interview gave those in the Meadow Lake courtroom a glimpse into the demeanour of the teen responsible for killing four and injuring seven in January 2016’s brutal shooting in La Loche.
The hearing is to determine if the youth will face an adult sentence. On October 28, 2016, the shooter pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of teacher's aide Marie Janvier, 21, and teacher Adam Wood, 35, as well as second-degree murder in the deaths of brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, who were shot in their home. He also pleaded guilty to seven counts of attempted murder. He was 17-years-old when the incident took place. The now 19-year-old cannot be named due to a court-ordered publication ban under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The interview was conducted the day after the accused entered his guilty plea. At one point the questioning officer commented on the youth’s background, noting that he was known to be quiet at school, that he had no known history of violence, and that he had no previous criminal record.
“I do now, though,” the accused responded.
“We’re trying to get a look inside of you and understand who you are,” noted the officer. “Have you ever felt bullied at school?”
“No,” the youth said.
“Why didn’t you shoot at the police?” the officer continued.
“I wouldn’t have had no chance,” the teen replied.
"Do you think there is anything that anyone could have done to prevent this?"
“I have nothing to say.”
Even though the shooter said he wasn’t bullied, the investigator asked him at one point about a comment he made to his parents about being ‘hated at school’.
“It’s always been like that,” the shooter responded.
Phyllis Longobardi left the courtroom before the end of the day’s proceedings. She said the day was incredibly emotional and her victim impact statement came from the heart. She said that the shooter has caused her immeasurable pain and it was hard to face him in court.
“I didn’t look at him that much,” she said. “At times I think he really understood that he has caused a lot of damage. It wasn’t just the killings and the shooting at the school. But it was the whole community, this whole province, this whole country. He has caused major damage.”
She said it was important for her to give her victim statement in person. Before the shooting occurred, she anticipated retirement this coming June. Her shooting injuries and the stress which followed has lasting impacts, she said.
“It was important for me to do it,” she said. “To bring some closure to my career, but it’s not fully what I expected yet, but maybe in time it will be.”
She said she hopes the shooter is sentenced as an adult, because it would set a precedent for any other youth thinking of committing a similar type of attack.
“I hope he gets a life sentence,” Longobardi said. “He can’t be able to forget what he’s done. Any other person considering, they need to understand if you carry a gun into a school, you’re getting a big term. The judge is going to set the precedent, and if she sets it the right way, maybe it’s a deterrent for the kid on the fence thinking the same thing.”
Robert St. Pierre is the mayor of La Loche, and was in court to give a statement as well. In comments after court, he said that he contacted the province and the Keewatin Yathé Health Region to get more support in his community.
“We’re getting some extra supports in La Loche,” he noted. “We need to have a long-term healing component in our community so we can feel safe so we can start living, I want to lead us to being more proactive than reactive.”
Court will resume this morning with more victim statements and the rest of the six-hour police interview.
On Twitter @ReporterKath
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