Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Shooting At School - Teacher Dies, Husband Charged

Aysegul Candir waited until her husband was out of the country before leaving him just days ago and had lived in fear since, according to a close friend. Those fears may have been realized when the ESL teacher at Bramalea Secondary School in Brampton (Ontario, Canada) was gunned down in her workplace parking lot on December 10, prompting a complete lockdown of the school's 1,700 students and 130 staff.

Candir, 47, was pronounced dead at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre at 9:30 p.m. "She was so scared of him," said a friend of nearly 20 years, who didn't want his name used. "She was worried he was watching the high school to see when she came and left. She told me she didn't want him to know where she was living."


Police have charged her 62 year-old husband, Erhun Candir, of Bolton, Ontario with murder. Students hid under their desks in darkened classrooms for several hours while anxious parents feared for the worst following the shooting. After three hours of uncertainty, and the arrest of Erhun, the 1,700 students at the school emerged shaken but uninjured. Police said the gunman did not intend to harm the students, and the lockdown was just a precaution.

Because the late morning shooting took place in the parking lot, many of the school's students had no idea what had happened as teachers closed the blinds, turned down the lights and ordered them to sit on the floor.

"It was scary, nervous, really bad," a student named Danielle said after she was allowed to leave the school. "We didn't know anything. We were under desks. People were crying, wondering if one of the students was shot."

Witnesses saw a cool and unruffled man walking calmly away after Aysegul was shot in the head. "He was very casual. He wasn't nervous, he wasn't scared," a witness, who didn't want her name used, said. "He didn't run, he didn't walk quickly, he just kept looking behind. He didn't even drive away fast."

Ambulance crews found the victim with head wounds and without a pulse in the parking lot of the school, but were able to resuscitate her en route to a local hospital. She was later transferred to Sunnybrook, police said.

Aysegul Candir's friend said Candir left her troubled marriage a week ago while her husband was vacationing in the couple's native Turkey. Candir was "treated like garbage" in her marriage, said her friend.

Students said the teacher, who started at the school last year, was a "wonderful" person.

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