Four people are dead after a shooting Friday in a small western Canadian community that began as a family tragedy and culminated with a scene of terror at the local school.
The shooter has been arrested, but not identified. No motive has been given for the shootings.
The shootings took place in the remote Dene aboriginal community of La Loche, in western Saskatchewan.
Kevin Janvier, who told The Associated Press his 21-year-old daughter Marie, a teacher, was shot dead by the gunman, said police told him the gunman first shot two of his siblings before going on a shooting spree at the school.
“He shot two of his brothers at his home and made his way to the school,” Janiver said. “I’m just so sad.”
The gunman had bragged about his first kills.
Student Noel Desjarlais-Thomas, 16, sent The Canadian Press a screenshot of a chilling social media exchange just prior to the shootings at the school.
“Just killed 2 ppl,” wrote the gunman. “Bout to shoot ip the school.”
“Why?,” asked a friend. “Why?”
“I feel like I’m in a nightmare and I want to wake up,” said Diane Janvier, Marie Janvier’s aunt, told CBC News.
Police said the shooter approached the school and shots were fired outside and inside the building.
“Run, bro, run!” Desjarlais-Thomas said his friends shouted. “There’s a shotgun! There’s a shotgun! They were just yelling to me. And then I was hearing those shots, too, so of course I started running.
“I ran outside the school. There was lots of screaming. There was about six, seven shots before I got outside. I believe there was more shots by the time I did get out.”
Geordie Janvier, 16, was in a hallway when the school attack began.
“We were going back to gym class, that’s when I heard the first shot,” Geordie Janiver explained. “I looked back. He didn’t see me, that’s why I ran to the gym class, closed the door, and I ran in the dressing room. We stayed there for, like, three hours.”
Alex Janvier, 15, estimated he heard shots every 20 or 30 seconds for several minutes as he and classmates remained in a classroom.
Chief superintendent Maureen Levy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the shooter was arrested at the school about 45 minutes after the gunfire at the school began.
Clearwater River Dene Nation Chief Teddy Clark described the shooting as devastating.
“A lot of people are in shock. This is something that you only see on TV most of the time,” Clark said.