'I didn't plan to shoot them,' La Loche killer says of Fontaine brothers
Alicia Fontaine's sons, Drayden, 13, and Dayne, 17, were first 2 victims in 2016 shooting
The young man guilty of last year's shootings in La Loche, Sask., says killing Dayne and Drayden Fontaine was not part of his plan, a courtroom heard Thursday during a sentencing hearing.
Near the end of a video interview with police, the teen gunman offered new insights into his plans during the days leading up to the Jan. 22, 2016, killing spree that left four dead and seven wounded.
"I didn't plan to shoot them, man," he said of the Fontaine brothers under prompting from the interrogating officer. "I already told you. They weren't part of the plan."
Drayden, 13, and Dayne, 17, were the first victims of the shooting that rocked the northern Saskatchewan community. After gunning down the teens at a home in La Loche, the shooter went on to the school armed with a shotgun.
'I would tell them I am sorry'
The entire six-hour interview with police was played inside a Meadow Lake, Sask., courtroom this week at the sentencing hearing for the now 19-year-old man, who can't be identified because he was 17 when he committed the crimes.
Asked about his plan for that fateful day, he replied, "Go to school and shoot the f--king kids."
But the gunman said killing the two teenage Fontaine brothers was not premeditated, and he expressed remorse for taking their lives.
"I would tell them I am sorry," he said.
'Don't know how it all happened'
Dayne Fontaine was shot 11 times, twice in the head.
At one point during the interview, the teen broke down in tears when talking about killing the brothers.
"I don't know how it all happened, man," he said.
After shooting the two brothers, he went on to the school where he killed two more people — Adam Wood, 35, and teacher's assistant Marie Janvier, 21 — and wounded seven others.
The teen has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
Mother of killer 'in shock like everyone else'
At the sentencing hearing Thursday, the court heard from the shooter's mother.
She said sometimes parents don't know the struggles their children are going through and that she wishes she'd seen the signs. She said she and her family are often undeservedly blamed for the shooting.
"I was in shock like everyone else. I never knew this was going to happen," the mother said.
Her statement, read aloud in court, was followed by perhaps the most emotional and intense moment of the weeklong hearing.
Alicia Fontaine, mother of the two slain boys, spoke directly to the killer.
"If it was all up to me, I would not press charges for my two boys," she said.
Fontaine said the killer called her days after the shooting. He was crying, she told the court. It was then that she forgave him, she said.
"I may be angry, but I am not angry at him," Fontaine told the court.
Victim of bullying?
On Wednesday, court heard that the shooter had told police he was not bullied but had been "hated" at La Loche Community School.
- 'I've been hated at school,' La Loche shooter told parents: police
- Sentencing hearing reveals La Loche, Sask., school shooter's actions before killings
Fontaine said in her statement Thursday that her own son had been bullied.
"Things could have been different if the school had a more strict policy against bullying," she told the court.
But in a victim impact statement by former vice-principal Phyllis Longobardi Wednesday, she placed the blame for the shooting squarely on the young man.
"He and he alone is responsible for his acts. Not bullying, not suicide," she said.
"[The shooter] should not be allowed to live a few years behind bars and then be able to forget."
Shooting followed homework discussion
Court also heard Thursday morning from Dan MacDonald, a teacher who met with the shooter on the morning of Jan. 22, just hours before the killing spree, to go over homework.
MacDonald told the court that he was working with the shooter on an essay, hoping to help him pass his class. They agreed to meet after lunch, he said.
Instead, the shooter returned armed with a shotgun. MacDonald said he heard the shot that hit and wounded substitute teacher Charlene Klyne, and he found Wood's body.
"I care about my students … and that includes you," MacDonald said to the teen in court.
"I'm haunted by the fact that you would have killed me if you saw me that day, even though I was trying to help you."
The court also heard from the grandfather of a teenage football star who was wounded in the shooting.
The youth is no longer able to play football. He barely goes to school, said his grandfather, who asked for a harsh sentence for the shooter.
The judge is not expected to make her sentencing decision until sometime after the hearing wraps up next month.
CBC reporter Charles Hamilton has been live-tweeting from court this week. You can follow today's tweets below. On mobile? Click here.