La Loche Shooter was a Victim of Bullying
A 17-year-old male is in custody after carrying out shootings in the small northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche. Two brothers were killed at a residential home, a teacher and teacher’s aide were killed at the community school, and seven more were injured. According to family friends, the suspect was very quiet and not one to have a bad temper. One thing, however, was for certain – the shooter was a victim of bullying.
The shooter was reportedly made fun of for his “large ears”. In fact, he dared people to make fun of him while he was carrying out the shooting. He ignored individuals who had been kind to him in the past, focusing only on his tormentors.
“He was a normal boy. He was not a monster. He was hurting.” said Perry Herman, family friend.
Herman continues, “If we had the supports we needed, this would not have happened. We need to learn from this or it will happen again.” Everyone deserves the support to learn healthy behaviour, regardless if it is a bully or the bullied.
La Loche has had a history of substance abuse and suicide, so the trauma from last week only adds to the tantalizing morale of the small community.
The shooter is being charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder, and unauthorized use of a firearm. He awaits his next court date, which is in February 2016.
Interim Mayor of La Loche, Kevin Janvier, would like to see the community school rebuilt because of the trauma sustained there through the years. The assistant deputy minister of education, Donna Johnson, wants her department to work with the community in order to assist with healing.
Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall, addresses that communities such as La Loche need hope – that a lack of hope can lead to mental health issues. La Loche will get the provincial support that it requires in order to help with the healing, along with improvements to infrastructure.