A peaceful town of about 3,000 people in Canada went into shock Friday when a 17-year-old male went on a shooting spree, during which he cold-bloodedly took time to tweet friends to tell them he had killed two people and that he would head to the local high school to shoot at more. On Saturday, the teen was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
But his arrest and the time he will serve in jail will never pay back for the profound trauma he left behind in La Loche, province of Saskatchewan, along with trails of blood of the four people he killed and the seven he injured after going on a rampage with motives that have yet to be clarified. Officials had originally reported five people killed and two critically injured.
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"The days and weeks are going to be difficult as we come to terms with the impact of what has happened in our community," said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Grant St. Germain as he announced the man will be before a judge next week.
"It's a sad and difficult time and no words will take away the pain and sorrow of what has happened,” he added, saying that because the killer is a young offender he cannot be named.
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“Right now, La Loche is devastated,” said an emotional First Nation Chief Teddy Clark. “Both Clearwater and La Loche, a lot of people are in shock.”
La Loche resident Noel Desjarlais-Thomas, 16, sent The Canadian Press a screenshot of a shocking exchange that took place before the shooting at the local Community School but after two people had already been killed.
“Just killed 2 ppl,” wrote the young male on social media. “Bout to shoot up the school.”
A friend responded asking “Why?, Why?”
Late Friday hundreds of residents held vigils outside the school and at a local church. They lit candles that on Saturday were still glittering.
"La Loche, being such a small community, everyone knows each other. We grew up together — we're friends, we're families. We were all in shock," local MP for the region Georgina Jolibois told CBC News.
The tragic shooting is the worst in a decade in Canada, where mass killings are rare, as they have stricter gun laws than the U.S., Reuters noted.
The British news agency added that the worst school shooting occurred in 1989, when 14 college students were killed at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique. A shooting in 1992 at Concordia University in Montreal killed four.
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