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3 children among victims of intimate partner shooting in northern Ontario, police say

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3 children among victims of intimate partner shooting in northern Ontario: Police
WATCH ABOVE: 3 children among victims of intimate partner shooting in northern Ontario: Police – Oct 24, 2023

Five people, including three children, are dead after shootings at two homes in a northern Ontario city, police say.

Police in Sault Ste. Marie, located between Sudbury and Thunder Bay, said the shootings were considered an intimate partner incident and that the shooter was also dead.

The children were aged six, seven and 12 years old, police said.

A local school board — the Algoma District School Board — said three of its students had died.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this tragic incident,” the school board said.

The local police chief said the whole community was grieving.

“The grief the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims are facing is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to them,” Chief Hugh Stevenson wrote in a statement.

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“As our community grieves this tragedy, I urge everyone to please watch out for each other.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the news of the deaths was “gut wrenching.”

In a social media post, he said: “This senseless loss of life has left family, friends and an entire community grieving. You are in my prayers. All of Ontario mourns this tragedy.”

A 911 call was made to Sault Ste. Marie police around 10:20 p.m. on Monday, officers said. It was for a break-in on Tancred Street.

Police said they found a 41-year-old person who had died from a gunshot wound. Sault Ste. Marie officers said in a social media post that the suspect had fled by the time they arrived.

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Ten minutes after the initial call, another person called to report a gun in a home, this time on Second Line East. Police said they found a 45-year-old person had been injured, along with three children who had died.

The shooter, investigators said, was also found dead “from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Police said they believed all the shootings were connected.

“These investigations are connected,” police said in a social media post. “These are not random acts of violence and there is no ongoing risk to public safety.”

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Police spokesman Lincoln Louttit said investigators learned about the shooter through the witnesses who came forward.

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Matthew Shoemaker called what happened “an unspeakable tragedy.”

“There are no words to adequately address such a tremendous loss,” he wrote in a statement.

“On behalf of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, I extend our community’s collective condolences and support to the family and loved ones of the victims. … We grieve with them as we try to reckon with this inconceivable act of violence.”

Officers were at the scene at both homes on Tuesday, police said, and the investigation remained underway.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also offered her condolences to the community.

“The thoughts of all of us are with the loved ones of those killed and with the people of Sault Ste. Marie,” she said.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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