Teen charged in deadly La Loche, Sask., shooting pleads guilty

The teen charged in a deadly shooting that took place in January in La Loche, Sask., pleaded guilty Friday to four murder charges and seven attempted murder charges.

4 people were shot dead, 7 others were injured

Residents consoled each other at the memorial near the La Loche Community School in La Loche, Sask., on Jan. 24, 2016. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The teen charged in a deadly shooting that took place early this year in La Loche, Sask., pleaded guilty on Friday.

In court in Meadow Lake, Sask., the accused pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder, as well as to seven counts of attempted murder.

He was originally charged with four counts of first-degree murder, but the Crown applied to have two of the counts reduced to second degree.

The Crown also confirmed in court Friday its application to have the accused, who was 17 at the time, be sentenced as an adult if convicted. The defence has opposed it, lawyer Aaron Fox saying there are a number of factors that come into play, including moral culpability and the teen's background.

The accused, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged in relation to two shootings in La Loche on Jan. 22. 

On that day, two teenage brothers were shot and killed at a house in the Dene community of about 3,000 people. Shortly after, two teachers were killed by gunshot wounds and seven others were injured at the La Loche Community School.

The four deceased were: 

  • Marie Janvier, 21, a teacher's assistant.
  • Adam Wood, 35, a teacher.
  • Brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, 17 and 13, respectively. 

Seven others were sent to hospital in Saskatoon for treatment. 

Hearing to be held in La Loche

The hearing to determine whether or not the teen will be sentenced as an adult if convicted will be held in La Loche. 

"It's important for cases like this, that are very serious, that the matters be dealt with in the community where the incidents arise," the judge told court. "It's important that the community be able to be there and see the justice process unfolding for them."

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang agreed.

As is allowed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, psychological and psychiatric reports will be prepared for the hearing, which has been scheduled for May and June 2017.