A man has been accused of randomly killing a high school student and stabbing another in Canada. The suspect has been named as Gabriel Brandon Klein. He was born in 1995. At around 2 p.m. on November 1, Klein allegedly went into Abbotsford Secondary School in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and attacked two female students. One of the victims, Letisha Reimer, 13, died of her injuries, another Emily Isaak, 14, remains in a local hospital.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Klein Was Apparently in a ‘Manic State’ When He Was Arrested
The Abbotsford News initially described the injuries suffered by the victims as “significant.”
The Vancouver Sun reports that that the suspect in the stabbing was “barefoot.” He is of no-fixed-abode and is known to frequent the Vancouver area, originally hailing from Alberta. Klein is thought to have been in British Columbia since February 2016.
Global News’ reporter Rumina Daya tweeted that Klein has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Daya added that Klein doesn’t appear to have a criminal record. Later, Daya reported that Klein refused to walk from his cell and that he was restrained for his safety. He has been ordered not to contact the surviving victim in any way.
2. The Attack Has Been Described as ‘Random’
CKNW reports that officers do not believe that the attacker is a student. He is in custody. The stabbing is being investigated by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. Later, Abbotsford School District Superintendent Kevin Godden described the attack as “random,” confirming that the victims had no connection to the attacker.
Speaking to CTV News, a student at the school described seeing Grade 9 student Letisha Reimer being “stabbed four times.” The witness told the station, “I feel sick to my stomach. I was terrified, scared. She was really nice. I’ve seen her every day. She talked to me all the time.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Reimer’s family during this trying time.
3. A Video of the Attack Went Viral Shortly After Klein Was Arrested
A video of the attack began to circulate online in the aftermath of the stabbing. Superintendent Kevin Godden described the video as a “trigger to trauma,” according to CBC. He added that he didn’t feel the video should be shared on social media.
4. Local Police Have Credited School Staff With Subduing the Suspect
Local Police Chief Bob Rich told the media, “It appears he is not a student at this school and it is possible he has no connection to these two students.” NEWS 1130 reports that the attacker was subdued by teachers. Rich complimented the teachers saying, “I believe the staff were so proactive and so quick that further casualties were probably prevented because of their actions… it was very quick for them to subdue the suspect.” One resident who lives close to the school told the station, “It used to be a small town, but things like this keep popping up and it’s crazy. It hits really close to home, figuratively and literally.”
NEWS 1130 reports that the school will remain closed so that local police can “maintain the integrity” of the investigation into the tragedy.
5. There Are Over 1,200 Students Enrolled in the School
According to the school’s website, there are over 1,200 enrolled at the school. The principal is Rob Comeau. There are 58 teachers on staff. Having been known as Abbotsford Collegiate, the school changed its name back to Abbotsford Senior Secondary in 2012 to coincide with a major redevelopment of the campus. The school is located along Bevan Avenue in Abbotsford, about 45 miles south-east of Vancouver.