Abbotsford/Chilliwack -OCTOBER 27 2017 UPDATE – A tentative court date has been set for the accused Gabriel Klein. Klein is scheduled to start his trial May 7, 2018 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.That may change between now and then due to a number of factors as the case goes through the legal system. Other pre-trial issues could arise which may or may not affect the May 2018 date, at BC Supreme Court in New Westminster.
DECEMBER 1 2016 UPDATE – Gabriel Klein, the man accused of the stabbing death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Secondary School and the assault on another student who remains in hospital, now has legal council.
Klein appeared via video on Thursday morning in Abbotsford provincial court, and Vancouver defence lawyer Michael Bozic indicated he is now Klein’s lawyer.
Bozic said Klein’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 27, at which time the judge said he hopes a date can be set for the preliminary inquiry
NOVEMBER 21 UPDATE – Gabriel Klein has had his case has been moved back to the Abbotsford Provincial Court from Supreme Court for a video-link hearing.
That will happen on December 1.
At his November 21 appearance, Klein had a legal aid representative but the judge advised him to have full legal council. Klein appeared confused as to what the judge was saying re: did he understand what was going on. That’s where the Judge asked Klein to get proper legal counsel. (The judge admitted he made an error in sending the proceeding to Supreme Court when in actuality, Provincial Court is where this phase of he trial should remain).
So far, Klein has been deemed fit to stand trial, as he has been through a number of tests to determine his mental health, so far he is fit to stand trial.
NOVEMBER 3 UPDATE – Global News is reporting that Klein was staying at the Riverside Shelter (in Abbotsford) in the days leading up to the attack.
Allegedly, Klein was known in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for stealing items to afford crystal meth.
CTV reports Klein had an argument with his mother on the phone, on the day of the attack. The argument may have been about money to return to Alberta.
WEDNESDAY 3PM UPDATE – There is still no indication what the motive was for the random attack that killed 13-year-old Letisha Reimer of Abbotsford and injured a 14 year old girl. The two girls were friends. The suspect did not wish to leave his cell before today’s appearance before a judge to hear charges. IHIT said Gabriel Klein has been in Vancouver since February/March of this year. He is described as a homeless drifter from Alberta.
A go fund me page has been set up in her memory to help the family.
Ongoing Support Services
The gym at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church (33333 Mayfair Ave., Abbotsford) will remain open for students, and family members to access support and information. Hours of this drop in service will be from 8:30am to 3:00pm.
Our critical incident response team, including counselors, will continue to work with Abbotsford Senior students and staff over the coming days and weeks. Parents/guardians who are concerned or seeking a 24-hour confidential support may contact the Kids Help Phone hotline at 1-800-668-6868.
All other schools in the District are open.
IHIT’s Jennifer Pound was very critical of media who reposted the video of the suspect attacking the teen who died and posting pictures of the victim on social media. Pound held back her frustration bordering on anger, and stressed “How do you think the family would feel , having to relive this all over again on social media.”
This is the official media Release from IHIT:
IHIT File: 2016-1908
Abbotsford File: 2016-45778
Charges Approved in Random School Attack
Abbotsford: On November 1, 2016, just after 2:00pm, the Abbotsford Police Department attended a local Senior Secondary School for what was called in as an assault in progress.
Upon attendance, Abbotsford first responders located a suspect who was being physically restrained by school staff members. This individual was taken into custody by police and the school was placed on immediate lock down in order to assess further risk and locate any additional victims or suspects.
Two female victims were located at the scene with injuries consistent with an edged weapon. Both females were immediately transferred to hospital and despite all medical efforts, the 13 year old girl succumbed to her injuries.
The second victim, a 14 year old girl, remains in hospital and is reported to be in stable condition but will have a lengthy physical and emotional road of recovery ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of both girls.
IHIT has received charge approval and will continue to work in partnership with the Abbotsford police department to gather further evidence. Although it is early, evidence suggests this incident to be random. We do not believe the suspect has ties to this school, or to the two girls, or specifically to the Abbotsford area.
The accused has been identified as 21 year old Gabriel Brandon KLEIN. Mr. Klein is facing charges of Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault.
The selfless actions by the Abbotsford Senior Secondary staff should be acknowledged and commended, as well as the efficient work by the Abbotsford Police Department for their quick response and containment of the scene.
We would also be remiss if we did not acknowledge the cooperation from all staff and students in place. This tragedy has left heavy hearts among all of them, and we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge all of you and thank you for your great cooperation through this.
Mr. Klein is of no fixed address and has been known to frequent the Vancouver area since February/March of this year. Prior to landing in Vancouver he was known to be in the Alberta area.
We are asking anyone that has had contact with Mr. Klein, whether it be social media, email, or face-to-face, to bring information forward to investigators.
**The family have been receiving phone calls from media and have asked us to relay a message on their behalf that they do not wish to speak with media and they are asking for privacy as they attempt to process their loss.**
Released by: S/Sgt. Jennifer Pound
WEDNESDAY 2PM UPDATE – Second degree murder charges have been approved by the crown in yesterday’s double stabbing that left a teen girl dead and another badly hurt, at Abbotsford Secondary School.
Court records show 21 year old Gabriel Brandon Klein has also been charged with one count of aggravated assault in yesterday’s attack.
Klein will appear in court by video November 7. He’s been ordered not to communicate with the surviving victim in any way.
Chilliwack School District sent out a letter to parents: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that took place at Abbotsford Senior Secondary yesterday. As we reflect on yesterday’s events, our hearts go out to the family and friends of the students involved and we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of both students,” the letter states.
“Violent events like this one remind us of the importance of our collective efforts to keep students and staff safe. Be assured that we have school emergency management guidelines to assist schools in preparing for and responding to any type of emergency, including human caused events such as this one.
“Student and staff safety continues to be a top priority in Chilliwack and we are supporting schools in whatever way we can during this difficult period.”
Recently, the district reviewed both their lock down and their hold-and-secure procedures.
WEDNESDAY 11 AM UPDATE – Abbotsford School District Superintendent Kevin Godden says the violence “appears to be a random act of violence.” He adds the district will be reviewing all security protocols but stresses, at this time, the focus is on the health and well-being of the students and staff.
TUESDAY 815PM UPDATE – Including Media Release From Abby PD/IHIT – Tuesday afternoon at 2:05 pm, the Abbotsford Police Department received a call of an assault in progress at Abbotsford Senior Secondary. Abbotsford Police Department, BC Ambulance Service and Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service were dispatched to the school.
Upon arrival, two female students were located with apparent stab wounds. Both were expedited to medical facilities for treatment along with their family members who had been contacted by school administrative staff.
Abbotsford police Chief Bob Rich said a young man is in custody and it appears he is not a student at the school.
Abbotsford Senior Secondary School and Abbotsford Middle School were locked down as a precautionary measure.
Tuesday evening, the Abbotsford Police received an update on the victims’ injuries. One of the female victims has succumbed to her injuries. The second female victim remains in hospital in stable condition.
The investigation is now being transitioned to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). Further information and updates will be provided by IHIT. Anyone with information about this incident should call the IHIT Tip Line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
6PM UPDATE – APD is dealing with a stabbing incident. A suspect is in custody and they are trying to expedite medical treatment for two injured students. Staging area for parents and media was at the Abby Arts Centre – 2329 Crescent Way, Abbotsford.
Abbotsford Senior Secondary and Abbotsford Junior Secondary remain in lock down, although CKNW and Global are stating that the middle school was released.
It is still not known if the attacker was a student.
APD have asked media to NOT show a Facebook video of the attack that has been posted.
The Abbotsford School District released a statement on the incident:
“We are heartbroken by the incident at Abbotsford Senior Secondary school today. We are a very caring community and when one of use hurts, we all do. We were saddened to learn that 2 students were injured in this incident and were taken to hospital for their injuries. We are cooperating with the Abbotsford Police Department on this active investigation and will be providing updates as they become available.”