A look at events in the La Loche school shooting in northern Saskatchewan

Randan Dakota Fontaine is led out of court in La Loche, Sask. on Friday, Feb.23, 2018 after a provincial court judge decided that he would be sentenced as an adult in the 2016 shooting spree that left four people dead and seven others wounded in La Loche. Jason Franson / The Canadian Press

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided it will not hear the sentencing appeal of a student who killed four people and injured seven others in a mass shooting in La Loche, Sask., in 2016.

The ruling means the shooter has no further avenues of appeal and a publication ban on his name is no longer in place.

Here is a timeline of events:

Jan. 22, 2016, before 1 p.m.

Two teen brothers are gunned down in a home on Dene Crescent. There is a chilling exchange between friends chatting online. “Just killed 2 ppl,” a youth writes to his friends. “Bout to shoot ip the school.”

Story continues below advertisement

Jan. 22, 2016, shortly after 1 p.m.

Police begin receiving calls from frantic students and teachers who say there is a shooter in the high school.

Students, just returning from lunch, flee for their lives. Some run for the doors, others hide in classrooms and in gym dressing rooms.

Jan. 22, 2016, between 1:08 p.m. and 1:10 p.m.

Police arrive at the school. Officers see an outside door has been shot. They see a shooter inside and chase him deeper into the school.

Jan. 22, 2016, 1:15 p.m.

Police challenge the shooter and he surrenders without negotiation or incident. Officers find nine people shot.

Teacher’s aide Marie Janvier, 21, dies at the school. Teacher Adam Wood, 35, is rushed to hospital, but cannot be saved.

Jan. 22, 2016, after 1:15 p.m.

Police receive a call about a body in a house. They rush to the home and find Drayden Fontaine, 13, and Dayne Fontaine, 17, dead.

Jan. 25, 2016

Randan Dakota Fontaine, two weeks shy of his 18th birthday, makes his first court appearance.

Story continues below advertisement

He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

Jan. 29, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits La Loche. He assures the community that his government will offer support for years to come.

Feb. 26, 2016

Students return to the high school after changes are made, including added security and counsellors.

Oct. 28, 2016

Randan Fontaine pleads guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

The Crown says it wants him sentenced as an adult. Two weeks are set aside for a sentencing hearing in May and June.

Jan. 9, 2017

Greg Hatch, principal of the La Loche high school, says students and staff are still suffering and feel they’ve been abandoned to deal with the trauma alone.

May 15-18, 2017

The first week of a sentencing hearing is held in Meadow Lake, Sask. An agreed statement of facts details the shooting and the court hears from victims who talk about their survivors’ guilt.

Story continues below advertisement

The mother of the two brothers killed, who are also Randan Fontaine’s cousins, forgives him. There is very little explanation for motive.

Fontaine’s lawyer, Aaron Fox, says there isn’t a simple explanation for what happened. He notes his client has cognitive, social and developmental issues.

June 13-16, 2017

The second week of a sentencing hearing hears from Fontaine, who tearfully says if he could talk to Wood, he would tell the teacher he was sorry.

“I would say to him: ‘I didn’t really know you, but I heard you were a good person, a kind person … and I’m sorry I shot you.’”

He also apologizes to Marie Janvier’s mother. “I’m sorry I ruined your life and took your daughter away. All she wanted to do was help students.”

Oct. 20, 2017

After delays, the sentencing hearing concludes.

The Crown argues Fontaine should be sentenced as an adult because he pleaded guilty to serious crimes, researched school shootings and guns and carried out his plan “with stark efficiency.”

The defence says the killer has fetal alcohol syndrome and cognitive impairments, and should be dealt with as a youth.

Story continues below advertisement

Judge Janet McIvor says she will deliver her decision in La Loche.

Feb. 23, 2018

McIvor rules that Fontaine will be sentenced as an adult. She tells a courtroom in La Loche that a youth sentence would not be appropriate because of the profound impact the shooting has had on the community.

May 8, 2018

McIvor hands down a sentence of life with no chance of parole for 10 years, calling the shootings “senseless” and “coldly horrific.”

She criticizes a lack of counselling in the community. “They have been abandoned,” she says. “They have been let down.”

June 5, 2018

Fox says he will appeal the sentencing decision.

Story continues below advertisement

April 11, 2019

Fox tells the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal that his client was an isolated teenager crying out for help that never came. He says Randan Fontaine will not get the psychological help he needs in a maximum-security prison.

Oct. 31, 2019

In a 2-1 decision, the Appeal Court dismisses the appeal. It says it could find no errors in the judge’s decision that a youth sentence was not sufficient to hold the shooter accountable.

Dec. 3, 2019

Fox says he plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

April 16, 2020

The Supreme Court decides not to grant Fontaine leave to appeal his sentence.

Sponsored content