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5 Dead, Suspect Held in Canada School Shooting


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks about a deadly Saskatchewan school shooting during a news conference in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2016.

Five people were dead and at least two were critically wounded Friday in connection with a shooting at a Canadian high school in the western plains province of Saskatchewan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday evening.

A male suspect was custody, according to Trudeau, who spoke from the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. He did not give a motivation for the attack.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare,'' Trudeau said.

Trudeau and Canadian police said the shooting occurred in the high school of a remote community called La Loche, a town of 3,000 people located 600 kilometers north of Saskatoon. Officers seized a gun afterward.

It was unclear how many victims died at the school. Kevin Janvier, La Loche's acting mayor, told the Canadian Press that the incident apparently started at the suspect's home.

"I'm not 100 percent sure what's actually happened, but it started at home and ended at the school," Janvier said.

La Loche police wouldn't release any details.

The school was locked down afterward, and its Facebook page said it would remain closed until the Royal Canadian Mounted Police resolved the matter. The public was asked to stay away.

Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, said the shooting was the worst tragedy to ever hit the community.

"It's not something you ever imagine happening here. The whole community, province and country has been affected, and we will all go into mourning,'' he said.

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States. With five dead, La Loche would be the country's worst school shooting since 14 college students were killed at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.

In 2014, a teacher expressed concern about violence at the La Loche school, noting that a student who had tried to stab her was put back in her classroom after serving his sentence, and another attacked her at her home.

"That student got 10 months," Janice Wilson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, referring to the student who had tried to stab her in class. "And when he was released, he was returned to the school and was put in my classroom."

Among Canada's provinces, Saskatchewan had the highest rate of police-reported family violence in 2014, double the national rate of 243 incidents per 100,000 people, according to a Statistics Canada report Thursday.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.