Adult time for adult crimes

La Loche school shoot­ing vic­tims ad­dress hear­ing

Cape Breton Post - - News - BY JEN­NIFER GRA­HAM

An as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal shot at a school in north­ern Saskatchewan says the teenage gun­man must be sen­tenced as an adult be­cause he alone chose to pull the trig­ger.

The teen com­mit­ted adult crimes and should do adult time, Phyl­lis Lon­go­b­ardi said Wed­nes­day in an emo­tional vic­tim im­pact state­ment at a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Lon­go­b­ardi was one of 11 peo­ple shot when gun­fire broke out at a home and then the high school in La Loche in Jan­uary 2016.

“He and he alone needs to own these crimes. Please do not al­low (him) or his de­fence to blame others ... for these evil deeds,” Lon­go­b­ardi told the court.

“He and he alone is re­spon­si­ble for these acts. Not bul­ly­ing, not sui­cide, not poverty, not teach­ers, not friends or fam­ily pulled the trig­ger. (He) did. Just (him). Stop blam­ing the others for what he chose to do.”

Two broth­ers, Dayne and Dray­den Fon­taine, were killed at the home. Court has heard Dayne was shot 11 times de­spite plead­ing with the shooter, say­ing, “I don’t want to die.”

Teacher Adam Wood and teacher’s aide Marie Jan­vier were killed and seven others were hurt at the school.

Video surveil­lance from the school shows the teen walk­ing and run­ning through hall­ways, shot­gun raised, and open­ing fire.

“I watched you as you pulled the trig­ger,” Lon­go­b­ardi said as she stared right at the teen in court.

Lon­go­b­ardi said she feels guilt, and won­ders what she could have done dif­fer­ently that fate­ful day.

“Many times I’ve wanted to give up be­cause that would be much eas­ier. But ... you didn’t kill me on Jan. 22, and I’m damn sure not giv­ing you the up­per hand this time.”

Teacher Peter Bradley was Wood’s house­mate and taught Dray­den Fon­taine.

“I was of­ten over­whelmed with grief, guilt, know­ing he would not be in our class again,” Bradley told the hear­ing.

The stu­dents chose to keep Dray­den’s desk in the class­room.

“It be­came ob­vi­ous that my stu­dents and I missed Dray­den more than we could pos­si­bly un­der­stand. Of­ten stu­dents would sit at his desk and read his jour­nal. At the end of many days, I would of­ten walk by and touch his desk, telling him how much I missed him,” Bradley said.

“I had a strong feel­ing of guilt. I would of­ten ask the ques­tion: ‘Why not me?’ I ex­pe­ri­enced sur­vivor’s guilt fol­low­ing the shoot­ing. I felt guilty be­cause I walked out of the school alive that day.”

Bradley said the guilt mor­phed into sui­ci­dal thoughts.

He also said he’s haunted by his stu­dents’ fear­ful faces which “will be for­ever etched in my me­mory.”

The only emo­tion from the teen gun­man came when Bradley spoke about Dray­den Fon­taine. The teen ap­peared to wipe tears from his eyes, but he did not make eye con­tact with any­one.

The teen has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-de­gree mur­der, two counts of sec­ond­de­gree mur­der and seven counts of at­tempted mur­der.

He was just shy of his 18th birth­day at the time of the shoot­ing and can­not be named. The hear­ing is to de­ter­mine if he is sen­tenced as a youth or an adult.

The Crown has served no­tice that it wants an adult sen­tence.

CP PHOTO

Jackie Javier, mother of Marie Jan­vier, wipes away tears while leav­ing court Wed­nes­day af­ter giv­ing a vic­tim im­pact state­ment dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing trial for a teen who killed four peo­ple, in Meadow Lake, Sask.

CP PHOTO

La Loche teacher Peter Bradley leaves court Wed­nes­day af­ter giv­ing a vic­tim im­pact state­ment at the sen­tenc­ing trial for a teen who killed four peo­ple, in Meadow Lake, Sask., in 2016.

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