The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on October 28, 1975 · Page 29
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The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · Page 29

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 28, 1975
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Page 29
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- r V f The Ottawa Journal Tuesday, Oct. 28, 1975 29 'GIRLS S y CREAMING.. .BLOOD' ALL OVER' The horror of Class 71 for students By CHRISTOPHER COBB Journal Reporter - "Girls were screaming and crying. Some of the guys were crying too. There was .. blood all over the floor." That scene, in the words of St. Pius Grade 13 student-Kevin Clarke, describes the aftermath of Monday's shooting in classroom number 71. Kevin, 17, said be was sitting at the back of the class when religion 'etcher Father Robert .Bedard shouted for everyone to drop-. , "At first we didn't know what was happening because from the back of the classroom we couldn't see the door. But some tat the floor and others just covered themselves with desks when the shooting started," said Kevin. "When the gun went off I thought it was a firecracker or something. I didn't realize what it was until later." The students stayed in the classroom for about 15 minutes after the shooting. Students stunned Explosion rattled the school By BRIAN GORY . Journal Reporter Students in room 73 had just settled down to discuss A Separate Peace, a novel in which war breaks up boarding-school friendships. Suddenly, the retort of gunfire rattled their door and left students momentarily motionless. "We thought it was an explosion in the main school wing under construction," recalls Mike Malone, a Grade 13 student at St. Pius high school. He lurched for the door, opened it briefly, then slammed it shut, stricken with fear. But mat split second will be etched on his mind forever. "Flash. Blood. He fell back," Mike recalls. "I just, saw his face for a second. It was a blitz." He didn't have the door open long enough to see Robert Poulin, the quiet scholar, spread-eagled on the floor, dead. Spray of pellets Pandemonium erupted in the room, spurred by the delirious screaming from room 71, where six students lay wounded from a spray of shotgun pellets. ' "Everybody was in shock. It was just mad chaos," Mike said. Thirty-five students crushed around the windows, kicking, ramming their bodies against the glass. "They were all jumping out, some of them getting cut Regulations delayed by province Gun control laws three months By ERIC DO WD Journal Toronto Bureau TORONTO (Staff) Ontario has been sitting on gun ' control laws for more than six months. . The province kept delaying, saying it wanted the federal government to bring in the controls because it has better constitJtional authority. Ontario Attorney General Roy McMurtry said Monday night he finally got an assurance last Friday from Solicitor General Warren AU-mand that Ottawa will bring in its gun control law no later than January, 1976. Mr. McMurtry denied the province should have moved - "E er y o n e was pretty -upset-Some of us-took our shirts off to make sure the injured guys had clean wounds and generally tried our best to help them. Others helped to calm down the ones that were upset," said Kevin. School principal Father Leonard Lurmy ordered that the classroom and school be evacuated. Kevin and his fej-low students smashed two windows and climbed outside. "We were told to get out through the windows and fortunately by that time a few people had come round to the outside of the classroom and helped us out, he added. : Kevin says he didn't know Robert Moulin wellnobody knew him well. ' "He always got good marks in school but as far as I know he didn't have any friends. He never said much and always kept to himself. I think he was an army cadet or something." by broken glass." The win-- dew frames themselves were . starting to give." Mike grabbed bis cigarettes and car keys, leaving behind A Separate Peace and bis other books. He helped their teacher, Sister Hilda Maloney, climb through the jagged glass. 6I couldn't believe it was him ..-.he was just a regular guy9 By IAN HAYSOM and CHRISTOPHER COBB Pierre Millette, who probably came within inches of being hit during Monday's shooting at St Pius X, says it-appeared as though Robert Poulin was more concerned with hitting the classroom than the people in it. "It seemed to me like he wanted to hit the walls. With all those people there he certainly could have killed or injured a lot of us if he'd wanted to. It just seemed like he wasn't interested in doing that." "The whole thing happened so fast, I thought that whoever was shooting at us had stopped to reload, but as I shut the door I saw his body lying there," said Pierre. "When the shooting started, all I could see was the gun, an arm and a leg. I didn't know who was shooting. It seemed like a Mafia gangland slaying," he added. sooner. He slid he still believes gun controls are better as part of the federal Criminal Code rather than provincial laws to regulate sales. But be said he would not rule out that Ontario may now go ahead without waiting . for Ottawa, particularly if it does not feel satisfied the federal law will control firearms the way the province has said it wants them controlled. Mr. McMurtry attorney-general only a month also made a bitter attack on television which, he said, sensationalized a similar shooting in a school last April in a way that may have helped When the classroom was empty, Mike climbed out himself. "Go bome," Sister Maloney exhorted 0ie frenzied students. "Go home." Numbed by fear, many obeyed instinctively. Others looked around to see if friends had escaped safely. Mike Hannas, 18, was sitting about 20 feet from the door when the first shots were fired. "I threw myself on the ground and I could hear the shots going off. Everybody was screaming and people were pulling desks on top of them to act as barriers," he said. ' "The strangest thing was that it didn't sound like a gun at all. It sounded more like somebody popping a paper bag. I just couldn't believe it . was him with the gun we all thought he was aregular guy. f Doug Boyd, also 18, said one of the students hit was sitting next to him: "We had all thrown ourselves to the floor but he was firing potshots at whoever he wanted. "My only thought was that I had to get. out of there. I honestly tlraught he was going to shoot every one of us." prompt Monday's shootings in Ottawa. The earlier shooting was at Brampton where ' 17-year-old Michael Sbbodian ran amok with two of his father's hunt-- ing rifles, shot and killed a teacher, another student, himself and wounded 13 other students. ' The incident increased demand for gun controls. In the Sept. 18 provincial election campaign Premier William Davis said that if Ottawa failed to act Ontario would force anyone buying a rifle, shotgun or ammunition to obtain a licence. No one with a criminal conviction involving - "violence, 1 i- j uiwgSC3C- I Artist's sketch of shooting ' r WOT iff Body Coroner shocked Fire scene 4 ... By DAVE McKAY Journal Reporter "I've seen a lot of deaths by burning and people shoot mental disorder or drug or alcohol abuse" would be granted a licence, the premier said. . Eventually every gun owner would become licensed because of their need to obtain ammunition. The 'province would also ban sales of firearms by mail order .catalogue except to peo-ple in extremely remote areas. Mr. McMurtry said he believes his predecessor as attorney general, John Clement who lost his seat In the election, was justified in seeking to get Ottawa to act first "Gun controls are a matter of criminal low," he said. "There is always a chance I in V. l' fa -r' of Robert Poulin ing themselves in the bead, but this was the most horrifying scene." Thai was the way veteran away provincial controls would be challenged constitutionally as being in essence federal criminal law." Mr. McMurtry said he told Mr. Allmand at a federal pro-vin:ial meeting last week unless Ottawa is prepared to give the highest priority to gun controls he would urge the Ontario cabinet to go ahead with Its own laws despite his view they would be more desirable under the code. Asked if publicity given the Brampton shootings could have stimulated those in Ottawa, he replied "yes I would be very surprised if it didn't" Religion class in session when door burst open By CHRISTOPHER COBB Journal Reporter 1 Jesus Christ was a man who taught that no problem was too big to tackle. There's no reason to be down because the teachings of Jesus are still here to help us out That was the message that religion teacher Father Robert Bedard was trying to get over to his Grade 13 students at St. Piux,X high school Monday afternoon when the classroom door burst open and Robert Poulin's gun started firing. T fell to the floor: with the rest of them,", said Father Bedard, "and when it was all over I went outside to see' if -the ambulance and police had been, called. They bad. There was nothing left to do."' . There were 74 Grade 13 students in the class at the time. There should have been 75. "With a class so big it's dif tlou removed from the worst I've seen' Ottawa coroner James Dickson described the scene at S Warrington Dr. where the body of Kimbcrlcy Rabot, 17, was found shackled to a bed. She had been doused in oil and set aflame. An autopsy today will determine whether she burned to death or was killed first PrelimLiary investigation showed no signs of gunshot wounds. Robert Poulin, 18', in whose bedroom the girl's body was found, went on a shooting rampage later in the afternoon at his school, then turned the gun on himself. Dr. Dickson said Miss Ra-bot's left wrist was chained to the bed and her legs were bound by ski-type bindings. The body was burned, but identifiable, the doctor said. She was naked except for a half-burned jacket, the doctor indicated, but he did not know whether -she had been naked when set afire. "The basement was saturated with camp-type stove oil and set ablaze." Firemen easily contained' ficult to miss one student," ' said Father Bedard. "Robert should have been there at the start but we didn't notice be was missing." As a pupil, Robert was "clever and co-operative," added the priest "I would say he was very pleasant and a good fellow in class." Father Bedard, a teacher for 18 years at St. Pius, said Robert attended religion classes regularly and was "as religious as most grade thir-teeners." - -"It's hard to tell because he was so quiet but I would say he was a religious fellow." Father Bedard said Robert never showed any signs of violence. "He never talked much to anyone, although we occasionally had a few words in the school corridor. I guess he must have just snapped." school (BUI GrimshawJoornal-CP) the blaze when alerted by neighbors who saw smoRe. Miss Rabot was described by her Glebe collegiate prin-c i p a 1 , John King, as an above-average student. Hugh Poulin, Liberal MP for Ottawa Centre, is a first c o u s i n of Roberi Poulin's father. Mr. PouKn said be bad little knowledge of young Robert. The MP went scurrying into St. Pius school Monday af ternoon after he heard about the shooting, but it was only to check on the welfare of his five children attending St. Pius. Mr. Poulin has added his name to a growing list of persons who want mandatory licensing of all guns, including shotguns and rifles. The weapon used in the shooting incident was a sawed-off 12-guage Winchester pump action shotgun, capable of snooting five times without reloading. Robert apparently shot four rounds into the classroom and saved the fifth to take his own life. T

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