LA LOCHE, Saskatchewan, Jan. 22 (UPI) — Five people were killed, and 12 wounded after a shooting at a northern Canada school on Friday morning.
The shooting occurred at the La Loche Community School, which houses grades 7 through 12 in the small town of La Loche, Saskatchewan, about 370 miles north of Saskatoon.
The Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported that a shooting was also reported at a nearby residence, though it wasn’t known immediately whether it was related to the gunfire at the school.
The StarPhoenix cited a fire official as saying a boy with a gun was taken into custody.
The exact original death toll was reported to be seven.
“The community usually pulls together really strong in times like this,” Clearwater River Dene Nation Chief Teddy Clark said Friday. “Both Clearwater and La Loche, a lot of people are in shock. This is something that you only see on TV most of the time.”
“I ran outside the school,” 10th grade student Noel Desjarlais said. “There was lots of screaming. There was about six, seven shots before I got outside. I believe there was more shots by the time I did get out.”
Authorities locked the school down after learning of the shooting.
“Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche,” Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community. Thank you to the RCMP and all the emergency personnel who responded quickly to the shootings.”
Officials said about 900 students attend the school. La Loche is a town of about 3,000 people.