The 16-year-old boy stabbed at Pigeon Lake Regional School on Monday morning had major surgery and is now in a coma, his mother told Global News on Tuesday.
Shanise Rowan Yellowbird said her son, Reyez Rowan, was stabbed once in the chest and once in the abdomen.
“Missed all his organs but got two major arteries. Lost lots of blood,” she explained in a message.
She said he suffered a lot of internal bleeding and had surgery on Monday.
“It was so scary and traumatizing to see my son lose his colour and all the blood,” Shanise said.
On Wednesday, Shanise said Reyez had woken up from the coma. She said she’s so thankful he’s slowly recovering but he’s not out of the woods yet. She said the doctor told them Reyez will likely remain in the ICU “for a while yet.”
RCMP said Tuesday the 16-year-old suspect was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. He was released from custody on conditions and is scheduled to appear in court on June 1.
“One of the (bail) conditions is that the student cannot be at the school so he will not be returning,” said Peter Barron, superintendent of Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.
Students were to return to school Wednesday and additional counsellors and psychologists have been hired to watch “for signs that somebody may need support,” he said.
Shanise said Reyez had plans to join the Canadian Armed Forces.
“Reyez was supposed to go to his medical next week for CAF and leave July for army.”
Shanise and her son lives in the Mameo Beach/Pigeon Lake area. She said Reyez helped her with her construction and landscaping company. She said the family is asking people to pray for him.
She said she was supposed to meet Reyez for lunch on Monday and so she arrived at the school minutes after the stabbing occurred.
RCMP said officers were called at 10:55 a.m.
The victim was airlifted by STARS to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
Another 16-year-old boy — who was also a student — was arrested, RCMP said.
Pigeon Lake Regional School is a public Grade 7-12 middle and high school about 80 kilometres south of Edmonton. It’s part of Wetaskiwin Regional Division No. 11.
Supt. Peter Barron said both boys were Grade 11 students at the school.
Barron said he’s been working in education for nearly four decades and this has shaken him.
“I’ve been in education 39 years and this is the first time this type of thing has happened. This is very unusual. It’s incredibly disturbing for staff and for students and for families.
“This is a horrific incident. It’s deeply troubling and certainly I would say that the community would have experienced trauma as a result of this.”
It’s his understanding the assault happened in the library and there were witnesses.
— With a file from The Canadian Press