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

  • Inquiry into Afghanistan vet who killed family, self, to continue in Nova Scotia

    Canada News CTV News
    GUYSBOROUGH, N.S. -- An inquiry into an Afghanistan war veteran who shot and killed three members of this family before turning the gun on himself continues today in Nova Scotia. It's the second full day of hearings for the inquiry into the case of Lionel Desmond, a 33-year-old former infantryman who killed his mother, wife and daughter before killing himself in January 2017. Source
  • Wildfire threatens homes on Australian capital's outskirts

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA -- A wildfire sparked by a military helicopter helping firefighting efforts was blazing out of control and threatening homes on the outskirts of Australia's capital on Tuesday as fire danger escalated across the country's southeast. Source
  • Canadians advised to avoid all travel to China's Hubei province amid outbreak

    Canada News CTV News
    China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of a new form of coronavirus, with 106 deaths. Nearly all of the fatalities have been in central Hubei province, but the new total includes the first death in Beijing. Source
  • Netanyahu withdraws request for immunity from prosecution

    World News CBC News
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withdrew his request for immunity from prosecution on Tuesday, hours before parliamentary proceedings on the subject were set to begin. Netanyahu, who was visiting Washington ahead of the launch of U.S. Source
  • U.K. will allow Huawei to play a role in building its 5G networks

    World News CBC News
    Britain will allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei a limited role in building its 5G networks, the government said on Tuesday. It said high-risk vendors would be excluded from the sensitive core of networks, and there would be a 35 per cent cap on their involvement in the non-sensitive parts. Source
  • Exiled former Central African Republic president returns ahead of election

    World News CBC News
    Former Central African Republic President François Bozizé insists he has returned from exile with peaceful intentions, even as concerns are growing that he will run in the upcoming presidential election. Bozizé, who came to power in a coup and ruled for a decade, was ousted by a coalition of rebel groups in 2013, leading to years of conflict. Source
  • One-day elementary teacher strikes continue in Guelph, Prince Edward County

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The union representing Ontario's elementary school teachers say the one-day strikes set to take place throughout the week are a precursor to more aggressive action. The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario says it plans to start introducing province-wide strikes starting next Thursday, even as members continue a series of rotating, one-day walkouts at boards across the province. Source
  • Prince Andrew urged to cooperate with U.S. over Epstein

    World News CTV News
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Lawyers representing alleged victims of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on Tuesday urged Britain's Prince Andrew to help U.S. investigators, after a prosecutor said he had given "zero cooperation.” U.S. Source
  • Prince Andrew urged to co-operate with U.S. over Epstein

    World News CTV News
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Lawyers representing alleged victims of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on Tuesday urged Prince Andrew to help U.S. investigators, after a prosecutor said he had given "zero co-operation.” U.S. lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents five women allegedly assaulted by Epstein, said the Duke of York has "a moral obligation" to meet with the FBI and that his failure to do so was "a disservice to the victims. Source
  • RCMP secrets-case arrest triggered internal warnings, advisories to Mounties

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- After the shocking arrest of one of their own on national-secrecy charges, rank-and-file Mounties were encouraged to get counselling if needed, decline to speak with the media and avoid the headquarters venue where a news conference on the case was taking place, newly released documents show. Source