'I heard her screaming as I was running': Survivor of deadly Abbotsford school attack testifies at murder trial
She was stabbed four times in her school nearly three years ago. On Wednesday, the court heard emotional videotaped testimony from a 14-year-old girl identified by her initials E.I. about the Nov. 1, 2016 attack that left her seriously injured, and her 13-year-old friend Letisha Reimer dead.
The two Grade 9 girls were sitting together in the Abbotsford Senior Secondary School rotunda when the attacker approached from behind. E.I. was stabbed first.
“I just heard her scream,” E.I. said though tears. “I don’t remember any pain so I can’t describe that. I don’t remember what he looked like. Just very mean. I remember running as fast as I could to the nearest classroom. I heard her screaming as I was running.”
Teacher Ken Lachelt heard those screams too. He ran to the rotunda and saw Letisha Reimer on the ground with the attacker crouching over her.
“His arms were jabbing in towards Letisha’s body.” Lachelt testified in the judge-only trial. “He was physical. Very aggressive. I moved towards him and yelled at him to get off of her. He stood up and that’s when I could see the knife.”
Lachelt yelled at the man, who he identified in court as Gabriel Klein, to put the knife down, and he did. “I started walking towards him as he walked backwards.” Lachelt testified.
When the attacker was subdued by the school principal, Lachelt returned to the injured Letisha, whose hands were covering her face.
“I told her she was going to be okay,” he sobbed. “I tried my best to stop the bleeding. We could feel her breathing stop and we could feel her pulse fade.”
Gabriel Klein, who’s pleaded not guilty to second degree murder and aggravated assault, kept his head bowed for most of today’s emotional testimony. His lawyer doesn’t deny his client stabbed Letisha Reimer to death and seriously injured E.I., but he intends to argue that Klein isn’t criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.
The trial continues next Tuesday.