La Loche shooting suspect called himself 'black sheep,' friends say

LA LOCHE, Sask. -- A 17-year-old boy accused of shooting four people to death in a remote Saskatchewan community described himself as an "outcast" at home and victim of bullying at school, say his friends.

See Full Article

The teen, who made his first court appearance Monday, was known to hold his emotions inside and rarely spoke, even when hanging out with his high school buddies in La Loche.

"He was the black sheep of the family," said Noel Desjarlais-Thomas, who described the accused as one of several friends who always hung out together.

The 16-year-old said the teen suspect would message the others in his circle of friends about not being treated equally or fairly by his family.

"He just said he was going to do something. He never really said much after that," Desjarlais-Thomas said Monday.

"We'd ask 'Why?' He never really told much. After that, it would just go blank. The conversation would just stop and something else would happen, the subject would (change.) No one ever thought this was going to happen."

Perry Herman, who also knows the accused, said the teen was teased about his large ears.

"So many of those times that those boys joked around with him about his ears and whatnot, he didn't get up and say, `You boys stop talking to me like this, it's hurting my feelings.' He just bottled it up."

Herman said the bullying must have been going on for a long time.

The suspect, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Brothers Drayden Fontaine, 13, and Dayne Fontaine, 17, were found dead in a house last Friday. Teacher's aide Maria Janvier, 21, died at the school, while teacher Adam Wood, 35, died in hospital.

The boy's lawyer, Ian Mokuruk, said he was contacted on the weekend to represent the accused at his first court appearance. Asked outside court how his client was doing, Mokuruk said: "He's upset. Much like his demeanour in court, he was not at all happy, which is understandable. It's a very tragic situation."

The teen's family members were in court, but left without speaking to reporters.

Desjarlais-Thomas and another friend, George Janvier, were both inside La Loche Community School on Friday when gunfire broke out. They fled the area, one racing to safety outside, the other barricading himself inside the gym change room.

Janvier, 16, said he and his friends have since been discussing what could have motivated the attack that also wounded seven people.

Both friends said they were aware of at least one other teen who regularly picked on the accused. Neither boy could describe what form the teasing took, other than recalling jokes were made or people would act "tough" toward him.

But they both understood the accused didn't like it.

"He once said that, 'Some day I'm going to eff-up (the bully). I'm going to beat him up. He said that like a couple times,' " said Janvier.

Mostly, the teenagers simply knew the accused as an introverted peer who hung out with them every day.

Desjarlais-Thomas doesn't understand what could have happened.

"It's a mystery," said Desjarlais-Thomas.

"He didn't seem like that type of guy."

By Tamsyn Burgmann in Vancouver, with files from Jennifer Graham in La Loche



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police looking for more women extorted for nude photos in alleged Ont.-wide scheme

    Canada News CTV News
    Police have laid dozens of charges against a man accused of using Instagram and Snapchat to extort women for nude photographs and money. Police allege that the 22-year-old from Stratford, Ont. communicated with more than 12 women from across the province and promised them money in exchange for naked pictures of themselves. Source
  • Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt charged with illegal deer kill on private land

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- An Alberta member of the legislature who is already dealing with charges of hit and run is now facing accusations of illegally shooting a deer. Derek Fildebrandt, the Independent member for Strathmore-Brooks, has been charged with unlawful possession of wildlife and entering onto private land without permission. Source
  • Wildlife committee launches emergency assessment for B.C. steelhead salmon

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The dismal return for steelhead salmon in British Columbia's Interior Fraser River system has prompted an emergency assessment of the species. Alan Sinclair with the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada says average annual returns of the fish should be in the range of 1,000 to 2,000. Source
  • Accused tells Winnipeg letter-bomb trial he knows nothing about explosives

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- A man accused of sending letter bombs to two law offices and his ex-wife testified Wednesday that he was trying to put an acrimonious past with her behind him and did not send the packages. Source
  • Suspect description released in alleged attempted abduction of 9-year-old boy

    Canada News CTV News
    Police have released more information about a middle-aged man involved in an alleged attempted abduction of a nine-year-old boy in a small Ontario town. The child was walking outside alone on Saturday evening in St. Source
  • Israel intercepts 2 rockets from Gaza in latest exchange

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- The Israeli military said it intercepted two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on Wednesday in the latest barrage by Palestinian militants. The army said in a statement that the Iron Dome missile defence system downed the rockets as they headed toward Israel. Source
  • Montreal mosque denies asking that female construction workers be barred from site

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Members of a Montreal mosque are denying a TV report it asked for female construction workers to be excluded from a site opposite their building. They say they were surprised and astonished to hear about the report broadcast on the TVA network. Source
  • Kingston man, 60, charged with sexually assaulting daughter, 16

    Canada News CTV News
    KINGSTON, Ont. - Kingston police say they have charged a 60-year-old man for allegedly sexually assaulting his teenage daughter. They say they were contacted by Family and Children's Service about a suspected sexual assault last Friday. Source
  • Former 'Apprentice' star Omarosa Manigault Newman to leave White House job

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The White House says Omarosa Manigault Newman -- one of U.S. President Donald Trump's most prominent African-American supporters -- plans to leave the administration next month. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Manigault Newman's resignation is effective Jan. Source
  • Theresa May trying to fend off party dissent over Brexit deal

    World News CBC News
    British Prime Minister Theresa May warned rebellious lawmakers in her own party they could endanger the smooth exit from the European Union if they tried to change her Brexit blueprint later on Wednesday. May has tried to avert a rebellion in Parliament by promising Parliament a series of votes on any deal to leave the EU "as soon as possible" after Brexit talks end, but offered little new ahead of Wednesday's session. Source