Tragic news is breaking out of our neighbor to the north, Canada, this afternoon. A shooter is in custody after killing five people and wounding two critically in a school in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.
Via CTV News:
Five people are dead and two are in critical condition after a school shooting in northern Saskatchewan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. The school is for grades 7 to 12.
One person has been arrested, Trudeau confirmed at an emergency press conference in Davos, Switzerland.
“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 are among the victims.
La Loche is an community of about 3,000, where many of the residents identified themselves as First Nations people – Canada’s aboriginal people.
The Telegraph reports:
Kevin Janvier, mayor of La Loche, said that it was still unclear what happened at the school. The alarm was sounded in the early afternoon, and the lockdown at the school ended at 3pm local time (9pm in UK).
“It’s just tragic and everybody’s running around,” said Mr Janvier.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure about what’s actually happened but it started at home and ended at the school.”
No further details yet on who the shooter is or possible motive. However, as the Telegraph writes, the high level of mental health issues in this community has been previously noted.
A report in Canada’s National Post last year painted a striking portrait of the isolation of the community, and focused on the high levels of mental health problems.
The annual suicide rate in the Keewatin Yatthe Regional Health Authority – an area which includes La Loche – is the highest of any health authority in Saskatchewan, and triple the state average.
“La Loche is also isolated, with few amenities,” the paper reported. “It has no hotels, no sit-down restaurants, no movie theatres or recreation centres. It doesn’t even have a bank.
Of course, this horrible tragedy will ignite debate over guns, and it’s worth noting that Canada has stricter gun control laws than the United States.
We pray for the souls involved and their loved ones.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]