RCMP: 4 killed in La Loche school shooting in northern Saskatchewan

The remote town of La Loche, Sask., is reeling after four people were killed during a school shooting.

One person has been arrested, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed from an emergency press conference in Davos, Switzerland.

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“We all grieve with and stand with the community of La Loche and the province of Saskatchewan on this terrible and tragic day,” Trudeau said.

It’s unclear whether staff members or students were amongst the victims.

The RCMP have released few details on the shooting. Initial reports indicated that five people were killed, RCMP said, but they later corrected the death toll to four victims.

RCMP said that investigators are searching the school and a second location on Dene Crescent.

The incident happened around 1 p.m. at Dene High School in La Loche, a remote town of approximately 3,000 people. It is located about 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

A male student told CTV Saskatoon that he saw a tutor get shot inside a classroom.

“The tutor went towards the door and she got shot and I just hid under the desk and phoned 911 and helped the teacher stop the bleeding,” said the witness, who asked to remain anonymous.

A nearby elementary school was put under lockdown as a precaution, RCMP said.

Trudeau said he received regular updates from law enforcement officials and expressed gratitude to first responders.

“Obviously this is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Trudeau said.

“When I spoke with community leaders they obviously expressed that the community is reeling and all of us across this country’s hearts are going out to the family and to the whole community.”

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall posted a statement on Facebook about “horrific events.”

Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche. My thoughts and prayers are with all...

Posted by Brad Wall on Friday, January 22, 2016

The community’s NDP MP and former mayor, Georgina Jolibois, said she was “shaken up” by the incident. She said her own family members were inside the school during the shooting.

The region’s MLA described the school as a “beacon of opportunity and hope” for the area.

“I know from working with them that the school and the staff and the kids were just fantastic. This is just devastating,” Buckley Belanger, MLA for Athabasca, told CTV News Channel.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose expressed condolences for those affected by the shooting.

My thoughts are with those affected by the shooting at La Loche Community School and @GeorginaNDP whose family members are at the school.

— Tom Mulcair (@ThomasMulcair) January 22, 2016

Shocked and saddened by the shooting in La Loche. My thoughts and prayers are with the community and those touched by this violence.

— Rona Ambrose (@RonaAmbrose) January 22, 2016

With files from CTV Saskatoon and the Canadian Press


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