'I've been hated at school,' La Loche shooter told parents: police
Shooter denied being bullied during police interview conducted after his guilty plea
The young man who pleaded guilty to last year's school shooting in La Loche, Sask., told police he was not bullied but had been "hated" at La Loche Community School, according to an interview shared during his sentencing hearing Wednesday.
The 19-year-old shooter — who can't be identified because of his age at the time of the offence — was interviewed by police last fall after he pleaded guilty to killing four people and wounding seven in the Saskatchewan community in January 2016.
People gathered for his multi-day sentencing hearing in Meadow Lake, Sask., on Wednesday viewed parts of his video interview.
'Nothing matches here'
Early in the interview, a police officer remarked to the shooter that he didn't have a prior criminal record.
"I have one now, though," he replied.
The man then gave mundane details about himself — he liked to play Grand Theft Auto on Xbox and read fantasy books — before reflecting on the shooting.
"Everything is still fresh in my mind. It feels like what I did happened a few days ago," he said.
Asked if he felt bad about killing the Fontaine brothers — whose bodies were found in a house in the village — he simply nodded.
Later in the interview, police read aloud a remark he reportedly made to his parents after the shooting: "I've been hated at school. It's always been like that."
But later, nearly two hours into the interview, he denied being bullied.
"Nothing matches here," an officer remarked.
'He and he alone is responsible'
In the courtroom earlier Wednesday, while giving a victim impact statement, former vice-principal Phyllis Longobardi laid the blame for the shooting squarely at the feet of 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."
- Sentencing hearing reveals La Loche, Sask., school shooter's actions before killings
- Victim wants adult sentence for school shooter who killed 4, wounded 7
Teacher Adam Wood, 35, and teacher's assistant Marie Janvier, 21, were killed in the school on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. Seven other people were injured. Brothers Drayden and Dayne Fontaine, 13 and 17 respectively, were shot and killed in a house in the village prior to the school shooting.
The Crown prosecutor wants the shooter to be sentenced as an adult, a move supported by La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre.
The shooter made a "conscious decision" that day, St. Pierre said during the hearing Wednesday.
"We teach our children that actions have consequences," he said.
At the hearing, Longobardi testified she was hit with six shotgun pellets when the shooter opened fire. She's since suffered a stroke and still has dizzy spells.
She said when she first saw the shooter in the school, she believed he had a toy gun.
"I watched you as you pulled the trigger," she told the shooter Wednesday. "That image is ingrained in my memory."
Following the shooting, she was asked to identify Wood's body at the hospital. She said that she truly considered Adam to be like a son, and couldn't do it.
"I often think there is something I should have done differently and Adam and Marie would still be alive," she told the judge at the sentencing hearing.
Meanwhile, teacher Peter Bradley told the court he cries himself to sleep most nights.
Bradley was the roommate of victim Adam Wood, and taught Drayden Fontaine. He told the court he thought he was going to die that afternoon.
"I would often ask the question, 'Why not me?'" he said. "I felt guilty because I walked out of the school alive that day."
He said it's been impossible to get the images of that day out of his head. He's come to hate Fridays, especially the early afternoons.
"The fear on the faces of my students will be forever etched in my memory," he said.
'The family has changed'
The Crown prosecutor read a victim impact statement written by the mother of victim Marie Janvier. She wrote that losing her only child was devastating.
"Things are not the same without my daughter," wrote Jackie Janvier. "The family has changed."
Janvier was remembered last year when hundreds of people took part in roadside candlelight vigils as her body was taken from La Loche to Saskatoon, more than 500 kilometres to the southeast.
Jackie wrote that it was very difficult living in the small northern village, facing the reality of the shooting every day.
"Marie was my only child and now we have no one look out for," she wrote. "I miss my daughter so much."
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 his tweets below. On mobile? Click here.
with files from Charles Hamilton