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High school shooting leaves Taber in shock

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Until today, Taber, Alta. was a small farming community known mostly for its corn. It is now a synonym for tragedy. Just after lunchtime on April 28, 1999, a former student walks into W.R. Myers High School with a sawed-off rifle and shoots two students, killing one and leaving another in critical condition. The attack is all too similar to the previous week's massacre in Littleton, Colo., as we hear in this report from CBC-TV's Kelly Crowe - who only just finished reporting from Littleton's Columbine High School. 
• Taber, Alta. (population 7,200 in 1999) is a small prairie town about 200 kilometres southeast of Calgary.

• On April 28, 1999 a 14-year-old boy who used to attend Taber's W.R. Myers High School entered the building and shot at three students. Jason Lang, 17, was killed, and another boy was critically wounded but later recovered.

• The shooter, whose identity was protected under the Young Offenders Act, was described in court documents as a reclusive student who had been frequently teased and bullied. He was put on trial for murder and attempted murder. During the trial he underwent surgery to correct a heart defect, but suffered a stroke during the operation, leaving him with brain damage. In November 2000 he pleaded guilty on all charges and was sentenced to three years in prison.

• On April 20, 1999 -- a week before the Taber shooting -- two student gunmen at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo. killed 12 classmates and one teacher before killing themselves. At the time of the Taber shooting there was much speculation that the Canadian shooter was inspired by media coverage of the Colorado attack.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: April 28, 1999
Guest(s): T.J. Nyce, Regan Valgardson
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Kelly Crowe
Duration: 3:07

Last updated: April 28, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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