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

  • Ferris wheel malfunction leaves 7 stranded at N.J. fair

    World News CTV News
    CAMDEN, N.J. -- Authorities say seven riders were rescued from a stuck Ferris wheel at a New Jersey county fair. Gloucester Township police say they were called to assist the fire department after the malfunction was reported Saturday at the Camden County Fair. Source
  • 'No one is born a violent extremist': UN head says schools must fight extremism

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- The head of the U.N. education agency says schools are ground zero in the fight against anti-Semitism and extremist violence -- and she will push world leaders meeting in New York this week to invest more in teaching tolerance. Source
  • Trump's 'America First' speech at the UN set to rattle both friends and foes

    World News CTV News
    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. -- President Donald Trump is poised to redouble his commitment to "America First" on the most global of stages this week. In the sequel to his stormy U.N. debut, Trump will stress his dedication to the primacy of U.S. Source
  • Burials begin as deaths from capsized ferry rise to 224

    World News CTV News
    UKARA ISLAND, Tanzania -- Relatives wept in grief on Sunday at the mass burial in Tanzania of many of the 224 people who drowned when a ferry in capsized on Lake Victoria. Colorfully painted coffins were lined up to go into graves on Ukara Island. Source
  • Banana shipment to Texas prison contained $18M worth of cocaine: police

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON -- Authorities say bananas donated to a Texas prison turned out to have nearly $18 million worth of cocaine hidden inside the boxes. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says in a Facebook post that the drugs were found in two pallets of bananas that were donated because they were already ripe. Source
  • Pope warns Lithuanians against rebirth of anti-Semitism

    World News CTV News
    KAUNAS, Lithuania -- Pope Francis warned Sunday against historic revisionism and any rebirth of anti-Semitism that fueled the Holocaust as he marked the annual remembrance for Lithuania's centuries-old Jewish community that was nearly wiped out during World War II. Source
  • Teen dies in hospital after shooting in Hamilton

    Canada News CTV News
    Hamilton police are investigating a deadly shooting in the city's east end after a teenage gunshot victim died early Sunday morning. Officers received calls to 470 Beach Road at 4 a.m. that a male, who is believed to be in his teens, had been shot. Source
  • Ontario researchers 3D-print piece of new skull for dog with cancer

    Canada News CBC News
    Researchers at an Ontario university have used 3D-printing technology to replace the majority of a dog's cancer-ridden skull, a novel procedure they say marks a major advancement in veterinary medicine. Michelle Oblak, a veterinary surgical oncologist with the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, said she believes the procedure is the first of its kind in North America and a substantive leap from one other known case. Source
  • Russia blames Israel for downing of plane by Syrian forces

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- The Russian Defence Ministry on Sunday again blamed Israel for the downing of a Russian plane by Syrian government forces and said Israel appeared "ungrateful" for Moscow's efforts to rein in Iran-backed fighters in Syria. Source
  • As aid checks go out, U.S. farmers worry bailout won't be enough

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Farmers across the United States will soon begin receiving government checks as part of a billion-dollar bailout to buoy growers experiencing financial strain from President Donald Trump's trade disputes with China. But even those poised for big payouts worry it won't be enough. Source