Two injured in ‘97 shooting at LSS

Risk of school shootings low in Canada, but it has happened here

The tragedy of a school shooting is something Canadians normally associate with our neighbours to the south.

And while there has been only a small fraction of the number of such incidents in Canada compared to the U.S., this nation is not entirely immune.

In fact, it happened in Langley 21 years ago, when shots rang out at Langley Secondary School, injuring two young men.

On Friday, Jan. 24, 1997, the two LSS students, both 17, were struck by bullets while they were hanging out near the high school’s smoke pit during lunch hour.

One of the victims was struck once — in the lower leg — while the other was shot twice — in the hand and through the hip and groin. Both teens were taken to hospital and then released within a few days.

Although nowhere near the tragedy that students in Parkland, Florida experienced on Feb. 14, when 17 teachers and classmates were killed by a lone gunman, the incident nonetheless shook up students, staff and faculty at the Langley high school.

One student, a friend of the victims, described the scene at the school that Friday afternoon as “chaotic.”

“And it’s almost as bad today,” he said the following Monday.

Another student described the shooting as sending shock waves through the corridors of the school.

“That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen in Langley. It’s not like Vancouver, we’re not in L.A.,” the student said.

The events that led up to the shooting were unclear, even several days later, but there was some speculation, police said, that the motive involved an unpaid debt.

RCMP arrested five people within an hour of the incident, including an 18-year-old and four minors, all of whom were charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

A .380 semi automatic handgun was recovered in the 21000 block of 40 Avenue.

Langley RCMP Staff Sgt. Rick Lawrence, who oversaw the investigation, said while he was sure weapons were not being hidden in school lockers, the shooting was somewhat “indicative of the way our community is going now.

“Years ago, if students had a serious problem, they would fight it out with their fists,” he said.

“Now, they appear to want to bring weapons into the fight, either a gun or a knife.”

John Scholtens, who was mayor of Langley Township at the time, said he was shocked and disappointed by the events at LSS.

“I want to assure the community that we will stay on top of this and we will not allow groups of people or gangs to take over our streets as their private turf,” Scholtens said.

“We have lost a little bit of innocence. I think every student who went to school today feels different from the way they did on Friday.”


Just Posted

Have you seen Peter Webb?

Fifty-two-year-old man reported missing by family who last saw him July 9

UPDATE: 14-year-old pilot sets Guinness World Record at Langley airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab believes he is now the youngest pilot with the fewest hours logged to fly solo

Plenty of heroes in Thai cave rescue, says Langley diver

Erik Brown reflects on team effort that brought 12 boys and their coach to safety

Elvis sighted in Aldergrove

Live concerts set for Langley Cruise-In on Sept. 8

Township announces new Korean War memorial

A memorial stone from South Korea’s Gapyeong region will be installed at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Abbotsford’s Besse sisters: Vaulting to greatness at Summer Games

Local siblings heading to Cowichan to compete in equestrian

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

Most Read