A 12-year-old boy charged with fatally shooting his 16-year-old brother at their Dorval home had taken the handgun to his high school, The Gazette has learned.
“It is not the first time he has had control of the weapon,” a source familiar with aspects of the investigation said. “It is not the first time he is bringing that gun to his school.”
The fact that the boy had taken the gun outside the home could explain why prosecutor Marie-Claude Bourassa said last week that she is opposed to his being released on bail.
A bail hearing for the 12-year-old, who has been detained in a youth detention centre since last week’s shooting, is scheduled in youth court on Tuesday.
The boy’s family want him to be released so he can attend his brother’s funeral.
The Gazette has also learned that there was a third person in the house at the time of the Jan. 21 shooting. The witness, who is about 18 years old, fled after the fatal shot was fired.
Bourassa said last week she would present at least one witness at Tuesday’s bail hearing. The identity of the witness is not known.
The 12-year-old boy was charged with manslaughter and possession of a prohibited firearm after his older brother was shot in the upper body with a “family gun.”
Steve Balleine, the assistant director general of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, said the board has no confirmation that the weapon was ever taken to St. Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire, where the younger boy is a student.
“It is unlikely, with the situation that we are in now, that a student who had seen it wouldn’t have come forward at this point,” Balleine said.
One parent called the school on Thursday asking whether the gun had been in the school, he said.
He acknowledged it is possible the boy could have taken the gun to school without the administration’s knowledge, but said it was unlikely.
“Certainly, we would have dealt with it,” Balleine said.
Andrew Carruthers, who lives across the street from the family in Dorval, said he has spoken to the boy’s mother since her older son was killed and her younger son arrested. “She is holding up the best she can,” Carruthers said. “She has to be the rock for the family.”
Court records show the boys’ father was charged with assaulting both his sons in 2007, when they were seven and 11, assaulting his wife and uttering death threats against her, and improper storage of a firearm. (The records state that the man owned $6,000 worth of hunting rifles.)
He was released on a promise to appear and had to agree not to be in contact with the family or come within 300 metres of their home. A year later, all charges were withdrawn.
The parents divorced in 2008 and live apart. The accused and members of his family cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.