Students and teacher band together to help save life of stabbing victim

Class at Abbotsford Senior Secondary performed first aid and comforted girl who was brutally attacked on Tuesday

Baneet Braich was among a group of students helping to save a fellow student who was a victim of a brutal stabbing on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.



The injured girl lay on the floor, another student holding her hand.

“I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“You promise?”

“I promise.”

* * *

Student Baneet Braich was in the computer lab at Abbotsford Senior Secondary when she heard the screams.

At first, she thought it might have been a belated Halloween prank, but then a girl who was covered in blood came into the room.

“Help me! I’ve been stabbed!” the girl yelled.

It took a few seconds for Baneet – a Grade 12 student whose English class was typing and printing out essays – to process what she was seeing. Was the girl ill? Was she joking?

The teacher and two boys in the class who knew first aid rushed to the girl’s side, helping her down to the floor and keeping her calm.

One of Baneet’s friends took the teen’s hand, and spoke words of encouragement and support.

Lockdown alarms had sounded, and the students knew immediately what to do, having practised the procedures many times during school drills.

They shut the blinds, closed and locked all the doors, and took shelter under the desks, while others continued to administer first aid to the injured girl.

Baneet and her fellow students assisted where they could. They removed their shirts and sweaters to place over her wounds, and used pads to soak up her blood.

Paramedics arrived within a few minutes while Baneet’s class was moved to another room.

The students remained under lockdown for almost three hours, with no word on what had happened or why, and, because of spotty cellphone service, no way to access information. Baneet’s class was unaware that another female student had also been stabbed, but they would soon learn the details.

The 14-year-old girl who had sought help from Baneet’s class (and who can’t be named because of a publication ban) had been doing homework in the school rotunda with her friend, Letisha Reimer, 13, when they were brutally attacked by a man with a knife.

Both girls were airlifted to hospital. Letisha did not survive.

Baneet and her fellow students were numb. They couldn’t believe that something like this – the type of situation you hear about happening elsewhere – had taken place at their school.

Baneet’s friend had passed the two girls in the rotunda and smiled at them just minutes before the attack took place.

They also learned about the heroic efforts of school staff. When the attack on Letisha occurred, a female counsellor yelled at the assailant: “You! Drop the knife and sit!”

Two teachers who knew first aid rushed to Letisha’s side. A couple of others, including the vice-principal, restrained the suspect until police arrived and took him into custody.

More details emerged over the next 24 hours.

Police revealed that the attack appeared to be a random act of violence with no known motive. The suspect – Gabriel Brandon Klein, 21 – was taken from the scene to hospital and released the following day (Wednesday) into police custody, where he remains.

He has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

The matter is now in the hands of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), which said Klein has no connection to the victims or to the school. They said he has no fixed address and is originally from Alberta but has been frequenting the Vancouver area since February or March of this year.

IHIT Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, said she was not aware of any mental health issues, but said Klein is undergoing “further assessment.”

She said police hope more information about Klein comes forward from the public to help aid in the investigation, although she said the motive for the attack might not ever become apparent.

Baneet said the incident is not something she or her fellow students will forget, not only because of the horrific and sad circumstances, but because of how they banded together to save a life.

“The event has been tragic … but it’s also developed a connection with my peers more, just to see what we were able to do.

“I’m just very thankful to have the people that I have in my life. I’m just so proud of everyone,” she said.

Baneet said their prayers go out to the friends and family members of the victims.

“Nobody should be suffering from such devastation ever. I just hope everything turns out OK.”

Anyone with information about Klein or other details is asked to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary has been closed since the attack, but will re-open on Monday.

The gym at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church (33333 Mayfair Ave.) has been open for student and family members to access support and information.

The school district’s critical response team, including counsellors, will continue to offer support over the coming days and weeks.

Related stories:

Teen girl dies after double stabbing

No motive yet known for attack

Prime minister among those sending thoughts

No known connection between suspect and victims

Online fundraiser for family of stabbing victim

Letisha Reimer remembered

 

 

 

Just Posted

Langley takedown linked to murder conspiracy case

Dramatic arrest was part of Taskforce Tourniquet, a multi-agency police gang investigation

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

WATCH: Langley teen singer a finalist in international competition

Langley’s Sean Thomas, 17, is a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.

Music students to stage protest performances in Langley

Sunday demonstration planned to oppose budget cuts at Kwantlen Polytechynic University

Langley Mustangs runner sets Canadian record

Sarah Inglis celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a standout performance at the Canadian All Comers race

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Crown drops one assault charge against B.C. man linked to human remains probe

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

5 to start your day

Chilliwack mayor sits down with health minister, phone scam tricks seniors out of $3.1 million and more

Most Read