Report says La Loche shooter asked if he would get gift to mark anniversary of attack

This story originally published here.

A teen gunman who killed four people in northern Saskatchewan asked if he was getting a gift to mark the anniversary of the shooting.

The teen pleaded guilty to killing two brothers at their home in La Loche in January, 2016, before gunning down a teacher and a teacher’s aide and wounding seven others at the high school.

A hearing is underway to determine if the teen, who was just shy of his 18th birthday at the time of the shooting, should serve time as a youth or an adult.

A presentence report tabled in court details how the teen asked staff at a Saskatoon youth detention facility “if they were buying him a gift” on the one-year anniversary.

Corrections worker Tanis Fidler, who wrote the report, said it wasn’t clear if the remark was made as a joke.

The teen “was quite detailed” when he recalled the shooting, she told court Friday.

“He was able to explain, tell me where he was, what happened, what he was thinking when he woke up that morning, what happened during the day, what happened at the school prior, once he got home from school,” Ms. Fidler said.

“He was very detailed.”

The Crown asked if the teen justified the school shooting.

“No,” Ms. Fidler said.

The teen told Mr. Fidler that shooting the brothers, Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, was not part of the plan and that he felt remorse for their deaths. However, he did not say anything about the victims of the school shooting, she told court.

Ms. Fidler also wrote in the report that if the teen hears about a mass shooting or a terrorist attack, he “often talks about the issue with a smile on his face, until he’s corrected by staff.”

Court heard that Ms. Fidler spoke with one of the teen’s teachers while preparing the sentencing report and the teacher said she believed the teen “slipped through the cracks of the school system.”

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox noted that the teen was about to fail Grade 10 for the third time.

The teen contemplated suicide on the day of the shooting when he was cornered by police in a bathroom at the school, but he couldn’t go through with it, Ms. Fidler said.

“He told me he didn’t want to make his mom sad.”

Court also heard from Christopher Hales, the teen’s case worker at the detention centre in Saskatoon, who said his academic and social skills have improved since entering the facility in February, 2016. Mr. Hales said the difference “is night and day.”

“Socially, he’s come a long way,” Mr. Hales said.

Mr. Hales also said the teen still struggles at bedtime because he’s “upset, emotional” about shooting the Fontaine brothers and has “thoughts and feelings talking about self harm, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness.”

Court has already been shown a videotaped police interview with the teen in which he says he didn’t plan to shoot the two brothers. He told officers his plan was to go to the school and shoot some kids.

Mr. Fox has said there is no simple reason behind the shooting and little about the motive has been made clear so far. But he said the video shows that his client has some cognitive, social and developmental issues.



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This story originally published here.