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Five students stabbed to death at Canada house party

16 april 2014, 12:22
0
Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com
Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com

Five students were stabbed to death in a rampage at a house party in Calgary, Canadian authorities said Tuesday, with the son of a police officer in custody, AFP reports.

Police said they were called at approximately 1:20 am (0720 GMT) to a home in a quiet suburban neighborhood that was hosting a party marking the end of university classes and found three people dead. Two more died in hospital.

The victims were four men and one woman in their 20s. One of them was discovered bleeding on the front lawn of the property.

A suspect was arrested nearby after what authorities said was a chase involving police dogs.

The 23-year-old suspect is a University of Calgary alumnus who was headed to law school, and the son of a senior police officer, public broadcaster CBC reported.

The victims were also students at the university, with authorities saying there were as many as 30 people at the party.

Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson called the incident the "worst mass murder" in the city's history.

"We have never seen five people killed by an individual at one scene. The scene was horrific," he told a nationally televised news conference.

He said the suspect was an invited guest who had headed to the gathering after work at a local grocery store.

"The suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them several times," Hanson added.

However, "at this point in time, we can't say why."

Hanson said he had spoken with the suspect's father, whom he described as "absolutely devastated."

The police officer and his wife "feel so much pain for the families that were impacted by their son," he said. "And they wanted me specifically to pass that on."

Next door neighbor Doug Jones told CBC he was "shocked" by what had happened.

He described the party as "a normal gathering between, say, 12 and 15 kids. They were having a few pops, obviously, and they had the fire pit going."

"There was no loud music. Everyone seemed to know each other," Jones said.

"When it started getting dark and a little colder, they moved things inside. Once inside you wouldn't have even known that anything was going on over there," he added.

"There were a few extra cars and a few people coming and going, but just nothing out of the ordinary."

Offering support, the University of Calgary said it was "greatly concerned about students, faculty and staff affected by this tragedy."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted that the "thoughts and prayers of all Calgarians are with the young people we lost this morning, their families, friends, and university community."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also offered his condolences.


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