Students return to Abbotsford Senior Secondary as community mourns death of Letisha Reimer

Many tributes taking place for teen, including ribbon-tying event on Monday morning

A candlelight vigil in memory of Letisha Reimer was held Friday night outside of Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

The superintendent of the Abbotsford school district said he is “overcome with emotion” at the community’s response following the double stabbing last week at Abbotsford Senior Secondary that resulted in the death of student Letisha Reimer, 13.

Kevin Godden said many churches, community agencies and citizens have offered support.

“You name it, they have done it so far, and I am so grateful for this community stretching its arms out around our kids and families to help heal us. I am truly, truly overwhelmed by that,” he said.

Students returned to the high school on Monday for the first time following the tragedy.

The school was open for half a day, and students returned to the classes they were in when the lockdown first took place.

The Abbotsford school district said the half day allowed students “a chance to gather their belongings, be together and start the healing process.”

Students, staff and members of the community were then invited to tie red and black ribbons in the shape of a heart on the school fence in Reimer’s memory.

In the days since the tragic event, the community has come together in many ways to remember Reimer.

On Friday evening, a candlelight vigil was held outside Abbotsford Senior, where a memorial of flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, cards and messages continues to grow in tribute to the Grade 9 student.

Many people wore red and black – the school’s colours.

A public service was held the following morning at South Abbotsford Church, which Reimer attended.

“Letisha had a deep impact on so many of us as we experienced her love for life, her joy, her energetic personality and her compassion for others,” stated a post on the church’s Facebook page.

The church also posted that a celebration of life for Reimer will be held Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. at Central Heights Church, 1661 McCallum Rd.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account set up to assist Reimer’s family with expenses continues to grow and is currently at almost $50,000.

A campaign, called Abby Strong, begins today (Monday) to raise funds for the families of Reimer and her 14-year-old friend (who can’t be named due to a publication ban) who was injured in the stabbing. The project includes the sale of T-shirts and stickers in Abbotsford Senior Secondary’s colours.

T-shirts sell for $25 and stickers are $2 and are available at city hall, Tourism Abbotsford, the UFV bookstore, Field House Brewing Co., Spruce Collective and Highstreet shopping centre. For more information, visit the Abby Strong Facebook page.

A Facebook group called “Be the change” has been set up to “push for better mental health services for those who need it.”

This is in response to concerns that Gabriel Klein, the man accused of killing Reimer and injuring her friend, suffered from mental-health issues, although investigators have not confirmed that.

“As much as it pains me that Letisha died, let’s not let her death be in vain,” wrote Mona Wilhelm, who created the group.

Another Facebook page, “In Loving Memory of Letisha Reimer,” is dedicated to celebrating the teen’s life.

Reimer died on Tuesday, Nov. 1. She had been in the rotunda of Abbotsford Senior Secondary with her friend when a man, who did not know them and had no connection to the school, attacked them with a knife.

The two girls were airlifted to hospital, but Reimer did not survive.

The assailant was subdued by school staff and has been in police custody since.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced the following day that Klein, 21, had been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary was closed for the remainder of the week following the incident. The school district has said that the critical incident response team, including counsellors, will continue to work with students and staff over the coming weeks.

Klein is scheduled to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on Monday morning.

 

Just Posted

North Delta crime beat, week of Oct. 6

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

Surrey moves to ban sleeping overnight in RVs, motorhomes on city streets

Proposal comes amid complaints about homeless people living in recreational vehicles

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

South Surrey man allows smart meter installation ‘under duress’

BC Hydro says devices emit fraction of radio frequency from a cellphone

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Kamloops Blazers blank Vancouver Giants

A loss on the road for G-men

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read