Girl dead, young man in custody after attack in classroom at Edmonton-area school

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LEDUC, Alta. — A 17-year-old female student is dead and a fellow student is in police custody after a violent assault at a school just south of Edmonton.

The attack happened Monday morning in a classroom at Christ the King School in Leduc. The school has about 350 students in Grades 9 to 12.

RCMP said the girl was airlifted to an Edmonton hospital, where she died of her injuries, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Bob Young, mayor of Leduc, said the girl was stabbed and all schools in the area were locked down until police made an arrest.

Police said a 19-year-old man, who was a student at the same school, was taken into custody about two hours later at another location.

Insp. Dale Kendall said the two students were known to each other, but she wouldn't say if it's believed that the attack was targeted. She also won't confirm if the girl was stabbed.

"This is a true tragedy. It is incomprehensible that an act such as this could happen here in our close-knit community of Leduc," she told a news conference Monday.

"This is life-altering for the family and friends of the deceased, the youth and staff at Christ the King and for our entire community.

"If there ever is a time to support your neighbours and hug your loved ones, this is it."

The school's police resource officer was not present at the time of the attack, Kendall added.

Major crimes investigators were taking control of the case and officers were not looking for more suspects.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said in a statement that she was heartbroken to hear of a tragedy on school grounds. She said mental health supports would be available.

The Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division said there would be no classes at the school on Tuesday and a trauma support team would there for the rest of the week.

“We cannot express deeply enough the sorrow we feel for the family members, friends and staff members who have lost a loved one today," the division's superintendent, Charlie Bouchard, said in a release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press