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A couple observe a public memorial at the scene of the Dawson College shootings in the early morning of Sept. 17, 2006. (Ian Barrett/Canadian Press)

Prominent school shootings in Canada and around the world:

Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Conn.

A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school has left 27 people dead, including 18 children, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity, because the investigation is ongoing. Another official, also speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, says the gunman is among the dead.

CBC story: Connecticut school shooting leaves 27 dead, including children

June 15, 2012, University of Alberta in Edmonton

Three people died after an attempted armed robbery at HUB Mall near the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

April 2, 2012: Oikos University in Oakland, Calif.

A gunman, reported to be a former nursing student in his 40s, opened fire at a Christian university in California, killing at least seven people and wounding three more, authorities said.

Dec. 8, 2011: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

University officials report that a police officer and another person are shot and killed on the school's campus, where 33 people died in 2007 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

May 11, 2011: San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif.

Napoleon Lavarias Caliguiran, 54, fires multiple shots into a vehicle in a San Jose State University parking garage, killing his wife, Marcory Tarlit "Cyndy" Caliguiran, 25, and Thomas "Kyle" Williams, 26, then turns the gun on himself. Both Marcory Caliguiran and Williams were SJSU honour students on the cusp of receiving accounting degrees.

April 7, 2011: Tasso da Silveira school, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, a 23-year-old former student at Tasso da Silveira school shoots and kills at least 12 students, and wounds at least 12 others. He entered the school at the start of classes, armed with two handguns. Many of the victims were in one Grade 8 class. The gunman, who left a suicide note, shot himself after being wounded by police.

Feb. 12, 2010: University of Alabama, Huntsville

University of Alabama biology professor Amy Bishop uses a 9-mm pistol to shoot six professors at a faculty meeting, killing three. Bishop is awaiting trial on murder charges. The police investigation has focused on her denial of tenure as a motive.

April 30, 2009: Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, Baku, Azerbaijan

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An injured person is carried out of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007. ((Alan Kim/Roanoke Times/Associated Press))

Farda Gadyrov, a Georgian citizen, enters the Oil Academy just after classes begin and shoots everyone he encounters. He kills 12 people and injures another 13 with a semi-automatic Makarov pistol. With police approaching, Gadyrov kills himself. Azeri prosecutors allege the massacre was part of a plot motivated by ethnic hatred.

March 11, 2009: Albertville Technical High School, Winnenden, Germany

Tim Kretschmer, a 17-year-old gunman dressed in black combat gear, shoots and kills nine students and three teachers with a Beretta 9-mm pistol at his former school northeast of Stuttgart. After fleeing the school under police pursuit he kills three more people before shooting himself.

Sept. 23, 2008: Kauhajoki School of Hospitality, Kauhajoki, Finland

Matti Saari opens fire at his vocational school 290 kilometres northwest of Helsinki, killing 10 people before turning the gun on himself. He later dies in hospital. Finnish Interior Minister Anne Holmlund says the gunman had been questioned by police just one day before the attack about YouTube postings in which he is seen firing a handgun, but was released because there was no legal grounds to hold him.

March 6, 2008: Mercaz Harav yeshiva, Jerusalem, Israel

Eight students, mostly in their teens, were killed and 9 others were wounded, when a Palestinian gunman opened fire in a crowded library at Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem. The gunman was shot and killed. Nadav Samuels, a 14-year-old Canadian, was wounded.

Feb. 14, 2008: Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill.

At least 21 people are shot, five of them fatally, in a campus lecture hall where students are attending an oceanography class. The alleged gunman, identified as 27-year-old Stephen Kazmierczak, also shoots and kills himself. Police say they have found no motive for the shooting, which happened in what witnesses say was a matter of minutes.

Nov. 7, 2007: Jokela High School, Tuusula, Finland

A gunman opens fire at the school in southern Finland, killing six students, a school nurse and the principal before taking his own life. Police describe the shooter, Pekka-Eric Auvinen, as a bullied 18-year-old outcast.  Auvinen reportedly posted YouTube videos of himself at target practice before the incident, in which he made vague references to "revolution" in a voice-over.

April 16, 2007: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

In the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history, 33 people are reported dead — including gunman Seung-Hui Cho, who kills himself — and several others are wounded. The rampage starts at 7:15 a.m. ET in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a student residence where two victims are killed. Later, 30 people are shot dead at an engineering building.

Oct. 2, 2006: Amish schoolhouse, Nickel Mines, Pa.

Charles Carl Roberts, a 32-year-old milk-truck driver and father of three children, walks into a single-room Amish schoolhouse in the village of Paradise near Nickel Mines and kills five children. The young victims — all girls between the ages of 6 and 13 — are lined up against a blackboard and shot execution-style, police report. Earlier, Roberts had ordered the 15 boys in the class, as well as several women with younger children, to go free.

Sept. 13, 2006: Dawson College, Montreal

A young man opens fire outside Dawson College, a CEGEP serving about 10,000 students in downtown Montreal, and then continues the rampage inside the school.

Witnesses describe seeing a tall skinny youth with a Mohawk haircut walk into the cafeteria shortly before 1 p.m. ET carrying a large gun.

The shooter, Kimveer Gill, 25, later kills himself in a confrontation with police inside the school. One woman, 18-year-old Anastasia DeSousa, are killed and 19 people wounded.

March 21, 2005: Red Lake High School, Red Lake reservation, Minn.

Jeffrey Weise, a 16-year-old student, opens fire at a high school in northern Minnesota, about 120 kilometres south of the Canadian border. He kills seven people, including five students, a teacher and a security guard. He also slays two family members. He dies after the shooting.

Sept. 3, 2004: School Number One, Beslan, Russia

On Sept. 1, Chechen terrorists take over a school in the town of Beslan in the North Ossetia region of southwestern Russia. They hold more than 1,100 people hostage, including 777 children, for three days. Following two unexplained explosions inside the school On Sept. 3, Russian special forces storm the school and fire at it with tanks. Over 330 people die as a result, including 186 children. Russian officials say 31 hostage-takers were also killed. The late Chechen resistance leader Shamil Basayev planned the hostage-taking.

April 26, 2002: Johann Gutenberg Gymnasium, Erfurt, Germany

A former student at Johann Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany, kills 16 people before turning the gun on himself. Most of Robert Steinhauser's victims are teachers.

April 28, 1999: W. R. Myers High School, Taber, Alta.

A 14-year-old boy opens fire with a .22-calibre rifle inside the school, about 200 kilometres southeast of Calgary. The boy, who can't be named because of his age at the time of the crime, kills student Jason Lang, 17. Another student, Shane Christmas, 17, is wounded, but recovers from his injuries.

April 20, 1999: Columbine High School, Near Littleton, Colo.

Two teenage students arrive at school wearing long black jackets, the trademark of a small clique of outsiders at the school known as the Trenchcoat Mafia. Eric Harris, 17, and Dylan Klebold, 18, carry an arsenal that includes a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun and a sawed-off shotgun. They first open fire in the school cafeteria and ultimately kill 12 students and a teacher, as well as wounding 24 others. Then they kill themselves.

The shooting shocks the world for its ferocity, sparking debates on gun control, school security, goth culture and video-gaming culture. Police in several U.S. towns report foiling attempts to emulate the massacre.

March 24, 1998: Westside Middle School, Near Jonesboro, Ark.

Two boys, dressed in camouflaged clothes and carrying seven firearms stolen from one of the boys' grandfathers, trigger a false fire alarm and open fire from the woods when everyone pours out of the school. Mitchell Johnson, 10, and Andrew Golden, 8, kill four female students and a teacher, as well as wounding nine other students and a teacher. They are sentenced to be confined in a youth facility until they turned 21. In 2005, the two boys are released and their records wiped clean.

Dec. 1, 1997: Heath High School, West Paducah, Ky.

Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old student at Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky., opens fire shortly after arriving at school, targeting a youth prayer group. Eight people are hit and three die. Carneal surrenders to the school principal. He is sentenced to three concurrent life sentences for murder and an additional 120 years for five counts of attempted murder and burglary.

March 13, 1996: Dunblane Primary School, Dunblane, Scotland

A 43-year-old unemployed former store owner, Thomas Hamilton, cuts the telephone lines to Dunblane Primary School in central Scotland and enters, armed with two pistols, two revolvers and more than 700 cartridges. He begins shooting in the school gymnasium, killing a teacher and 16 children, many of them under the age of six.

Aug. 24, 1992: Concordia University, Montreal

A professor at Concordia, Valery Fabrikant, fires on his colleagues, killing four and wounding one.

Dec. 6, 1989: L'École Polytechnique, Montreal

Marc Lépine, 25, walks into a classroom at Montreal's l'École Polytechnique engineering school, separates the men from the women, then tells the men to leave. Then he begins shooting from a semi-automatic military weapon, shouting "I want women" as he roams the school's floors. Lépine kills 13 female students and a college employee, and injures 13 others before committing suicide.

October 1978: Sturgeon Creek School, Winnipeg

A 17-year-old student shoots and kills a 16-year-old at a Winnipeg high school.

Oct. 27, 1975: Saint Pius X School, Ottawa

Robert Poulin, an 18-year-old militia sharpshooter, sexually attacks and kills a friend, 17-year-old Kim Rabot, then shoots six people at Saint Pius X school in Ottawa. Poulin then kills himself. One of the wounded students would die more than a month later.

May 1975: Centennial Secondary School, Brampton, Ont.

Michael Slobodian, 16, shoots and kills a teacher and a student, and wounds 13 others before turning the gun on himself.

May 15, 1974: Netiv Meir school, Ma'alot, Israel

Three members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine infiltrated Israel from Lebanon. After killing five Israelis, they took over a school in the border town of Ma’alot in the middle of the night. Students visiting the area were sleeping in the school while on a class trip. The hostage-takers demanded the release of some prisoners being held by Israel, setting a 6 p.m. deadline for their demands to be met. Thirty minutes before the deadline, Israeli forces stormed the school. Before they died, the hostage-takers killed 22 children and three adults, and injured another 68, using automatic weapons and grenades.

Aug. 1, 1966: University of Texas at Austin

Charles Whitman, an architectural engineering student at UT and former U.S. marine, barricades himself on the observation deck of the Main Building's tower with a sniper rifle. Over the next 96 minutes, he kills 16 people and wounds 31 others. Whitman is later killed by police.