Four dead in shooting at first nation school in northern Canada

Four people died in a shooting in a remote northern community in the west-central Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), announced Friday evening.

An unspecified number of people were injured.

Initial reports indicated that five people were killed, RCMP said. They later corrected the death toll to four.

Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum, said he had been told five people died in the shooting in La Loche, a Dene First Nation community, about 860 kilometres northwest of provincial capital Regina.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare. The community is reeling," Trudeau said.

“We all grieve with and stand with the community of La Loche and the province of Saskatchewan on this terrible and tragic day."

La Loche is a community of about 3,000 people. Its community school has approximately 900 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.

The RCMP, Canada's federal police force, which provides security to many of the aboriginal communities, have released few details on the shooting. 

RCMP said that investigators are searching the school and a second location in the community.

It’s unclear whether staff members or students are among the victims.

A male student told CTV News that he saw a tutor get shot inside a classroom.

“The tutor went towards the door and she got shot and I just hid under the desk and phoned 911 and helped the teacher stop the bleeding,” said the witness, who asked to remain anonymous.

Noel Desjarlais, a 10th grader, told CBC News, he heard several shots.

"There was lots of screaming," Desjarlais said. "There was about six, seven shots before I got outside. I believe there was more shots by the time I did get out."

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall thanked the RCMP emergency personnel for their quick response to a shooting in the town of La Loche.

"Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche," Wall said. "My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community."

Last update: Sat, 23/01/2016 - 12:44
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