Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan School Shooter Gets Life in Prison, No Parole for 10 Years

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan School Shooter Gets Life in Prison, No Parole for 10 Years

Article excerpt

Saskatchewan school shooter gets life in prison

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MEADOW LAKE, Sask. - A judge on Tuesday sentenced a young man who shot up a school and a home in northern Saskatchewan to life in prison and bemoaned a lack of support for survivors.

The shooter, who killed four and injured seven, won't be eligible for parole for 10 years.

The young man was weeks away from his 18th birthday when he killed two teenage brothers, a teacher and a teacher's aide in La Loche, Sask. He was sentenced as an adult, but can't be named until his appeal options are exhausted.

Judge Janet McIvor called the shootings "senseless" and "coldly horrific."

She also said it's a travesty that some people in the northern Dene community aren't receiving the support they need and are being revictimized. Since the shooting, she said, fewer teachers are willing to work there and there has been an increase in substance abuse and suicides.

"They have been abandoned," McIvor told court. "They have been let down.

"More help is needed. Counselling is needed. And it's not right that that hasn't been provided."

Phyllis Longobardi, the school's assistant principal who was injured in the shooting, praised the judge for scolding the government.

"Good for her," Longobardi said from her home in Amherst, N.S., after watching a livestream of the sentencing at her local courthouse.

"The government has done nothing -- absolutely nothing -- for the community. It's done nothing for the victims.

"It basically came out with this political line, 'Oh, we'll help you.' And then when nobody's looking, they take it all away."

She said she's heard the same complaints from other victims, families and community members she's kept in touch with.

And she feels for those in La Loche who may see the shooter again if he returns to the community after he gets parole.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said he hadn't seen the details of the judge's comments.

"When we are faced with any type of tragic occurrence here in the province of Saskatchewan, we need to work hard to do better in areas such as La Loche," he said.

Moe said the government has put in place a Dene teacher education program, which is training people to become educators in the community, and invested in a trades program at the high school.

"But there is more work to do, and it's not just in northern Saskatchewan," he said.

The La Loche shooter pleaded guilty in October 2016 to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. …

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