Facebook hit list not like Colombine, Vancouver teen’s lawyer says

The lawyer representing a Vancouver high school student who police say had a hit list of students and teachers is rejecting suggestions police may have prevented a Colombine-style massacre.

VANCOUVER — The lawyer representing a Vancouver high school student who police say had a hit list of students and teachers is rejecting suggestions police may have prevented a Colombine-style massacre.

The 18-year-old Grade 12 student has no criminal record nor history of violence or behaviour problems, David Karp said Tuesday.

Police arrested the teenager on Friday and he appeared in provincial court Tuesday on seven weapons-related offences, including possession of a shotgun, a machete and a sword.

He was remanded in custody until Friday, when the date will be set for a bail hearing.

Insp. Scott Thompson, who heads Vancouver police’s youth services unit, said investigators now are interviewing people on the list police say was posted on Facebook. Further charges could result.

Although his name appeared on the provincial court docket connected to the weapons charges, Thompson said police won’t identify him because he was still a youth when alleged offences related to the hit list occurred.

Karp said a brief psychological assessment was done after his arrest late Friday night to ensure he was fit to stand trial. No further evaluation is planned, he said.

“He’s coherent, he’s cognizant,” Karp said in an interview. “He’s quiet and he’s obviously quite concerned with the situation he’s in.”

Thompson called the case the most serious school threat Vancouver police have encountered.

It drew immediate comparisons in the media to the April 1999 Colombine massacre, where two students at the Colorado high school systematically shot and killed 11 students and a teacher.

It’s also been compared with the Taber, Alta., high school shooting eight days after Colombine, where a 14-year-old student killed one student and wounded another, and the 2006 Dawson College rampage by Kimveer Gill, who killed one student and wounded 20 at the Montreal school.

Gill had posted photos of himself brandishing a semi-automatic carbine on social-networking web sites.

But Karp played down the 117-name Facebook hit list, which included 71 students and teachers at Templeton high school on Vancouver’s east side.

“People do all kinds of crazy, stupid things all the time,” he said. “How many people have said I’m going to go kill that person? It may sound concerning, obviously, but who knows?

“What are we really dealing with here? This is one weapon in a house and there’s allegedly some information on a computer that is scary, of course, for everyone involved.

“But this isn’t a case where someone showed up with an arsenal of weapons at a school and started shooting people. So quite frankly I don’t think the Colombine equation fits at all.”

Thompson also dismissed the Colombine connection as speculative. But he said the presence of weapons elevated this above the juvenile stupidities that often surface on social-networking sites.

“Clearly the firearm changed the complexion of this situation dramatically,” he said.

Just Posted

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month