Vigil held Saturday for victims in Trois Rivieres killings
About 200 people attended a vigil at a school in Trois Rivieres Saturday afternoon for the young victims of a gruesome triple homicide earlier this week.
Two 17-year-olds are accused of killing two sisters, ages 22 and 17, and a 17-year-old boy.
Police have said the three victims were shot to death Tuesday morning.
Saturday’s ceremony lasted about a half hour; there were speeches, a moment of silence and at the end, orange balloons were released into the air.
According to a Facebook event for the memorial, each balloon had a message dedicated to the three victims attached to it.
“It was shocking to lose two girls and a boy full of life in that way,” said Marianik Dubois, who organized the event.
Teenagers and young adults lined the front row of the crowd, clutching each other while some choked back tears.
“It was unbelievable. When I heard the news, I didn't think it was real,” said Faye Lymburner, a friend.
Attendees brought flowers and placed them in the snow, and also left notes.
The vigil was held outside the high school the girls attended -- one a graduate, one still a student.
Rejean Lemay, the school’s principal, described the event as a collective prayer.
He told the crowd it was important for people to be able to come together in solidarity and grieve together because this tragedy has touched the entire community.
Lucie Bruneau taught both sisters and says the school community is heartbroken.
“They were marvelous children and students. A+ students, very involved in their school community, in sports, in everything,” she said.
Lemay also said he spoke to the father of the sisters, who said that in spite of his grief, he wants to find a way to help those who cry out for help on social media.
One of the accused had posted potentially worrying photos to his Facebook page.
Trois-Rivieres police spokesperson Michel Letarte said Tuesday investigators were exploring whether a love triangle sparked the killings.
The accused pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder earlier this week.
The crown submitted a proposal Wednesday to have the two boys be sentenced as adults.
If convicted, they would receive an automatic sentence of 25 years without parole.
Youths convicted of first-degree murder are eligible for parole after serving ten years in prison.
Mourners left flowers at a vigil Saturday for the victims of the February 2014 triple murder in Trois Rivieres. (CTV Montreal/Maya Johnson)
Mourners gather at a school in Trois Rivieres Saturday to remember the three young victims of a triple homicide. (CTV Montreal/Maya Johnson)