Saskatoon

Hearings bring up painful memories for La Loche

The details are graphic and the memories painful at the sentencing hearing for the teen who carried out one of the worst mass shootings in Canadian history. For the people of the northern community of La Loche, the hearing has opened old wounds.

Mayor of Sask. village said many people in the community were caught off guard by details of the case

La Loche mayor Robert St. Pierre speaks outside of a courtroom in Meadow Lake where the sentencing hearing for the La Loche shooter took place.

The details are graphic and the memories painful.

The first week of the sentencing hearing for the teen who carried out one of the worst mass shootings in Canadian history wraps up Friday. For the people of the northern community of La Loche, Sask., the hearing has opened old wounds.

"The images and the details of what occurred that day, it's shocking," La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre said in an interview earlier this week in Meadow Lake, Sask., where the sentencing hearing is being held.

During the week-long sentencing hearing, one of the teachers who gave a victim impact statement said being at the hearing was the second worst day of her life — second only to Jan. 22, 2016, when the killer, who cannot be named because of his age at the time, shot four people to death and wounded seven others.

According to St. Pierre, it's a sentiment shared by many in the small northern village.

"Just having to go through that and resurfacing all those emotions and everything … it takes you back to that day," he said. 

St. Pierre said the worst part of the hearing was the first day, when the grizzly details about transpired on the day of the shooting came to light through an agreed upon statement of facts released in court. 

The hearing is being live streamed into La Loche and many people were there to watch. Hearing the court proceedings and the media reports caught many off guard. 

That's why St. Pierre said he requested mental health workers, who are now on the ground in La Loche to help anyone triggered by the hearings. 

The first part of the teen's sentencing hearing wraps up Friday. Another week is set aside for the rest of the hearing in June. 

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