5 killed in stabbing at northwest Calgary home
UPDATE AT 5:53 P.M. MT: 22-year-old Matthew Douglas de Grood has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
CALGARY- Five people died Tuesday, after they were stabbed at a house party in the northwest community of Brentwood.
Police describe it as the worst mass murder in the city’s history.
“We have never seen five people killed by one individual at one scene,” said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson. “It was horrific.”
At a news conference Tuesday, police confirmed the suspect is the son of a 33-year veteran with the Calgary Police Service.
He has been identified as 22-year-old Matthew Douglas de Grood, a University of Calgary student. According to his Facebook page, de Grood was recently accepted into the U of C’s faculty of law.
It’s believed he was working at Safeway before getting off work around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, then made his way to a party where two dozen people had gathered to mark the annual University of Calgary celebration, Bermuda Shorts Day.
He now faces five counts of first-degree murder.
The victims include Lawrence Hong, Josh Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell, and Jordan Segura.
The names of the victims are not being released until police notify family members. Autopsies should be completed by Wednesday evening.
Officers were first called to a home on Butler Crescent NW around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Three men were pronounced dead at what police describe as a horrific scene. A woman was found stabbed inside the home and a fourth man was found stabbed on the front lawn. They were both rushed to hospital in critical condition, where they died of their injuries.
A suspect matching witness descriptions was arrested a few blocks away. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries after being tracked down by police K-9 units.
Police say he was an invited guest who armed with a large knife stabbed the victims one by one.
Doug Jones, who lives in the area, says he didn’t notice anything getting out of hand in the minutes leading up to the stabbing.
“They weren’t loud, there was no loud music, everyone seemed to be getting along.”
Jones says he and a neighbour overheard people at the party talking about topics like politics and investments.
“I am totally shocked, to be honest with you. I can’t believe this has happened.”
He describes Brentwood as a quiet neighourhood.
“Nothing ever happens here. It just goes to show it can happen anywhere.”
READ MORE: Calgary’s worst mass murders
Chief Hanson has talked to the father of the suspect and said he is devastated.
“He is heartbroken as his wife is. He said, could you please pass on to the families our total and complete sorrow and condolences as to what happened.”
The University of Calgary says the tragedy is having a huge impact on students, who are writing end of term exams.
“The university community has lost a part of its family…we are deeply saddened,” said University of Calgary president, Dr. Elizabeth Cannon.
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