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



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

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

White Rock Whalers president Ronnie Paterson (inset photo) is hopeful the team and City of White Rock will be able to find a solution that will allow the Whalers and their PJHL opponents to use the dressing rooms at Centennial Arena. (Jody Harris photo)
Whalers waiting to hear on dressing-room availability as PJHL home-opener looms

White Rock team owner ‘confident’ hurdles can be overcome in talks with city

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Outbreak over at Delta Hospital

In all, 45 cases of COVID-19 were identified and seven patients died during the outbreak

The Sunshine Band Club video posted to Youtube.
VIDEO: Surrey youth band shines light on ‘COVID blues,’ raises money for hospital

Virtual concert from Sunshine Band Club, established last March

Not everybody lined up to vote on Saturday. In Surrey, 68,396 mail-in ballots still need to be counted for the final election tally. (Black Press Media)
North Surrey voters steer left, South Surrey voters steer right

Once again, it’s NDP orange in the city’s north end, Liberal red in the south

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Most Read