School Shooting the Latest Tragedy to Haunt Tiny Canada Town

La Loche riddled with drugs, unemployment, suicide rate three times the national average
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2016 5:58 AM CST

(Newser) – An unidentified 17-year-old Canadian boy now stands charged in the murders of four people—including two teenage brothers—in a school shooting Friday that was only the latest tragedy to shake the remote Saskatchewan town of La Loche, a "bleak" and tiny aboriginal town of less than 3,000 that the New York Times reports usually makes news "in connection with violence or drug arrests." La Loche is a Dene community dogged by unemployment, poverty, and until recently, better known for suicide than murder—18 people, mostly young, died by their own hand between 2005 and 2010, notes the Times. "Now we barely have room at the graveyard because of suicide, tragedies like this," a local resident says.

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"As a Dene community, we've been through some horrific incidents and … we're very resilient. We come together and heal," says an MP from the town. The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, is also charged with seven counts of attempted murder and one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm, and will appear in court this week, reports the CBC. A total of nine people were shot at the school in La Loche; brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, 17 and 13, were killed at a nearby home. "The days and weeks ahead are going to be difficult," an RCMP rep tells the CBC. "It's a sad and difficult time ... we must get through this together." (Read more school shooting stories.)

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