Advertisement

Police describe disturbing behaviour of accused Abbotsord school killer after arrest

Unnerving video evidence presented at Abbotsford school stabbing trial
Court hears from police officers who took Gabriel Klein into custody for the death of teenager Letisha Reimer. Grace Ke reports, and a warning: parts of the story are disturbing.

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 heard police describe the suspect’s disturbing behaviour after his arrest, which was backed up by video and audio.

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.

On Wednesday, arresting officer Const. Davin Turner with Abbotsford police testified he encountered Klein at the school and asked the stabbing suspect if he was high.

Witnesses testify at trial of accused killer Gabriel Klein
Witnesses testify at trial of accused killer Gabriel Klein

When the Crown asked him why, Turner said Klein “had a stupefied look on his face and smirk, and that was my impression that he was high.”

Story continues below advertisement

After taking Klein into custody and placing him in the back of the police vehicle, Turner told the court Klein started lightly banging his head on the partition separating the front and back seats.

Turner said he held Klein’s head to get him to stop, which “didn’t take much effort.”

READ MORE: Administrators describe ‘strangely calm’ attacker in stabbing death of Abbotsford student

At some point, Turner told the court Klein’s breathing “became more laboured and he started sticking out his tongue.” Paramedics were called as a precaution, and Turner told Klein to sit up and take deep breaths, which seemed to help.

The court was then shown video of Klein arriving at the custody booking area at the Abbotsford police detachment, where he was taken after the stabbings.

Story continues below advertisement

In the video, Klein is led in handcuffs to a counter in the cell block to be processed. He tilts his head back at times, his mouth open and eyes closed.

Gabriel Klein trial: witnesses recount fatal stabbing at Abbotsford school
Gabriel Klein trial: witnesses recount fatal stabbing at Abbotsford school

Klein then slumps over the counter, appearing listless. After officers try to get him to move and keep breathing deeply, Klein then starts banging his head on the counter.

Officers again hold Klein’s head to keep him from banging it, and paramedics are seen arriving. They ask Klein questions but he’s unresponsive. His pockets are emptied and his shirt, pants and shoes are removed.

READ MORE: ‘We could feel her pulse fade’: Witnesses recount fatal stabbing at Abbotsford school

Klein is then guided to a stretcher, which he’s strapped to. That’s when he starts shaking while breathing deeper and deeper.

“He seemed to have a seizure,” Turner told the court.

Klein was then transferred by ambulance to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Turner said Klein was restrained and did not speak, but was “screaming and moaning.”

Story continues below advertisement

“He was biting down on his teeth and he would make some noises when hospital staff would touch him,” Turner told the court.

Klein was later moved to another room where he was calmer, Turner said.

Another officer, Det. Ian Alldritt, later testified he also saw Klein biting down on his arm at one point. He said he looked at Klein’s arm afterwards but did not see any bite marks or other injuries.

READ MORE: Accused Abbotsford killer wanted to go to Alberta the day of fatal stabbing: shelter worker

On Tuesday, the court heard from administrators from Abbotsford Senior Secondary who described Klein as being “strangely calm” when they confronted him immediately after the attack.

Fellow students testified previously that they witnessed Klein making a “gutter growling, almost a roar sound,” with his hands clenched on the day of the attack.

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.

Trial of man accused of killing Abbotsford teen hears testimony about mental state
Trial of man accused of killing Abbotsford teen hears testimony about mental state

One shelter worker testified that Klein was displaying characteristics of schizophrenia.

The defence is expected to argue that Klein is not criminally responsible for reason of mental disorder.

Story continues below advertisement

The trial is expected to continue Thursday with testimony from the emergency room doctor who encountered Klein at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.