Five people have been confirmed dead in a school shooting in the Northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Two people have also been confirmed to be in critical condition after the shooting in La Loche Community School, which is about 600 km (375 miles) north of the city of Saskatoon in Canada.
“Obviously this is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Trudeau said.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States. In the country’s worst school shooting, 14 college students were killed at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.
A Grade 10 student Noel Desjarlais told the CBC News that he heard multiple shots fired at the school. “I ran outside the school,” Desjarlais said. “There was lots of screaming, there was about six, seven shots before I got outside. I believe there was more shots by the time I did get out.”
La Loche Community School is a pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 school, which houses about 900 students in two buildings.
In 2014, a teacher expressed concern about violence at the La Loche school, citing an incident where a student who had tried to stab her was put back in her classroom after serving his sentence of 10 months, and another attacked her at her home.