Sunday January 21, 2018
'I had to tell myself I'm not like him': When your friend becomes a mass shooter
more stories from this episode
- When someone you care about is accused of sexual misconduct, how should you respond?
- Former Garrison Keillor colleague feels radio host was unfairly 'swept up' in wave of allegations
- She turned her husband in after finding child porn on his computer
- Her son was accused of rape and she stood by him
- Her father molested a child, but that doesn't 'undo the love' she feels for her dad
- 'I had to tell myself I'm not like him': When your friend becomes a mass shooter
- Full Episode
We know Kimveer Gill as the mass shooter who went on a killing rampage in 2006 at Dawson College in downtown Montreal.
But to Andrew Page, Gill is also the guy he hung out with since high school.
"[Kimveer] was generous. He would invite me to his house, give me food, give me beer," he says.
They would even vandalize parts of the school together — Gill always trying to one up Page.
"Let's say I broke a neon light. Then he would break two. So he would copy whatever I did and exaggerate."
"We were friends from 1998 to 2006," says Page. That's when Gill killed one person, 18-year-old Anastasia DeSousa, and wounded 16 others. He also killed himself.
Page didn't find out his friend was the shooter until he saw him in the newspaper the next day.
"That was very awful. It was pretty terrible," he recalls. "I couldn't function properly. I was at work. I was supposed to do my shift making sandwiches and I couldn't make sandwiches properly."
He didn't understand how Gill was capable of the shooting.
"Did I really know this guy? I mean I had a relation[ship with him] for years … all of a sudden he decides to shoot people in a college. It doesn't make sense," says Page.
'Why did you hang out with him?'
It's been more than a decade, but Page still thinks about Gill every few days. The shooting made him mad at his friend.
"He hurt a lot of people. He was a completely different person that day than when I knew him from before," says Page.
"It's two different people. He was the quietest guy in school and then all of a sudden, he's a murderer. To me, it didn't make sense."
The shooting not only made Page question who he thought his friend was, but also his own sense of self.
"After something like that happens, you ask yourself a lot of questions. You know, I used to hang out with him and then he becomes a criminal. Am I normal? Am I an asshole? I had to tell myself I'm not like him."
But it wasn't just an internal dialogue.
- CBC News: College shooter Kimveer Gill obsessed with guns
- CBC News: Dawson College celebrates resilience on 10th anniversary of shooting
"I got all these people, my family and friends and even strangers, [asking], 'How come you used to hang out with Kimveer Gill? Why did you hang out with him?'
It's not easy to know that the public has this perspective of you. Oh, you're Kimveer Gill's friend."