On Campus

Would-be school shooters sentenced to two years

Teens planned to open fire in a Winnipeg school, the University of Manitoba

Two teens who plotted to corral students in a Winnipeg school auditorium and randomly open fire “until they got tired” have each been sentenced to two years in jail.

The 17-year-old male and his 18-year-old girlfriend, who cannot be identified under court order, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit murder. They both apologized at a sentencing hearing in October. The young man admitted he “really screwed up,” while the girl said she wanted to “apologize to the community and all that I have affected with this act of mine.”

At the hearing, Crown and defence lawyers recommended the teens be sentenced to two years in jail, followed by three years on supervised probation. Judge Brian Corrin wasn’t convinced, reserved his decision and asked the Crown to consider the matter further.

In the end, he accepted the joint recommendation. Both teens showed no emotion as the conditions of their probation were read.

The teens agreed to be sentenced as adults although lawyers asked that they serve their jail terms in a youth facility. Both sides agreed the details of the plot were chilling, but the lawyers also stressed the plan was never carried through, and pointed out the teens have made strides while in custody for almost a year.

Their plan, detailed in an agreed statement of facts, involved a “mass killing of people” in Manitoba. The pair stole guns and ammunition being kept at the home of the young man’s grandmother in Portage la Prairie and kept them in the girl’s closet. They made Molotov cocktails, which they also stored in the girl’s closet.

They intended to go to a Winnipeg high school where they planned to order office staff at gunpoint to announce over the PA system that all students should proceed to the auditorium. Once the students were gathered there, the two teens planned to lock the door and “shoot anyone who attempted to escape.”

“They would light and throw Molotov cocktails into the crowd of trapped people,” the statement said. The teens planned to escape through a trap door on the stage and then take off in a waiting car.

They then planned to shoot at police and at others while they went to the University of Manitoba where they would “continue shooting people until they got tired. “Then they would kill themselves or let the police shoot them,” according to the statement. The two were arrested in January after a friend anonymously tipped police upon learning of the plot.

The Canadian Press

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