Police arrested a suspect in a shooting that left four people dead in a small town in northern Saskatchewan, Canadian authorities said.
A call came in Friday afternoon about a shooting at a school in La Loche, said Maureen Levy, chief superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Officers went to the La Loche Community School, arrested a suspect and seized his weapon, he said. In addition to the school, police are investigating a shooting at a residence in the town of about 2,600 people, Levy said.
“The country’s heart is breaking,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said after the shooting.
‘Run, bro, run!’
Noel Desjarlais-Thomas, 16, told the Star Phoenix newspaper he was returning from lunch when gunfire erupted at the school.
Fleeing friends warned him to get out.
“Run, bro, run!” his friends said as they scuttled past him.
“There’s a shotgun! There’s a shotgun! They were just yelling to me. And then I was hearing those shots, too. So of course I started running.”
School coordinator Norma Janvier told the Star Phoenix she was in her office when she heard shots.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I thought the kids were just playing around or something, like a locker slamming and stuff.”
She said another teacher stopped her from leaving the office so she waited until someone said it was safe.
“All I heard was cops running around in the school,” she said.
‘A terrible, tragic day’
Levy declined to provide details on the suspect or victims, whether they were students and what kind of weapon was used, citing the integrity of the investigation.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Trudeau said. “A terrible, tragic day.”
The school teaches prekindergarten to 12th grade, and houses about 900 students in two buildings, its Facebook page says.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and emergency personnel responded to the shooting.
“Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche,” Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community.”