WARNING: This story contains graphic details which may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
The trial of an Alberta man accused of fatally stabbing a 13-year-old girl at an Abbotsford high school resumed Tuesday, with more chilling testimony from the day of the attack.
Gabriel Klein has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the slaying of Letisha Reimer and the stabbing of her friend at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School on Nov. 1, 2016.
School principal Robert Comeau testified Tuesday that he was in a meeting with two vice-principals when he heard office secretaries begin screaming, with one of them shouting “he has a knife.”
“I saw one victim on the ground across from me on the rotunda with the man over top of her with a knife,” he told the court.
“He was stabbing her … he had her pinned down … he had the knife above his head.”
Comeau said he made eye contact with the suspect, who dropped the knife as he and vice-principal Bruce Cuthertberson approached.
He testified that he told the man, who wore a blank expression, to put his face on the floor and put his hands behind his back, to which the suspect complied quickly and with little struggle.
Vice-principal Cuthbertson was next to take the stand.
Through tears, Cuthbertson said the suspect stood as he approached, and he heard something metallic fall to the ground.
“People were trying to do first aid and Paula was begging her to stay alive and the blood that was leaving her body was increasing in volume,” he said.
“It became evident to me that I was holding onto someone who killed someone.”
Cuthbertson described the attacker as “strangely calm.”
Comeau told the court that he initiated lockdown procedures while the suspect was being detained, then returned to look for more weapons.
He said a student in the computer lab then came out to say there was a second victim.
Comeau also told the court how it was possible at the time to walk through the public library attached to the building, into the school’s library and on into the school rotunda.
He said a wall had since been installed to separate the two libraries.
The court has previously heard that Klein had been given a map to the public library as he sought access to a computer to contact his mother in Alberta.
On Tuesday, the court also heard from Audrey Faver, who testified she saw Klein on the day of stabbing as she was heading to school.
Faver said he appeared agitated, and was making a “gutter growling, almost a roar sound,” with his hands clenched.
She told the court she had called 911, and stayed on the line for about five minutes until she lost sight of him.
The court has previously heard from shelter workers who testified Klein had wanted to return to Edmonton the day of the killing, and had become frustrated that a ticket could not be arranged for him that day.
One shelter worker testified that Klein was displaying characteristics of schizophrenia.