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Timeline of the Brentwood stabbings: Calgary’s worst mass murder

Brentwood Stabbing Victims
Five young people were stabbed to death at a house party in northwest Calgary on April 15, 2014. From left to right: Lawrence Hong, Zackariah Rathwell, Jordan Segura, Kaiti Perras and Josh Hunter. Global News

CALGARY – In the early morning hours of April 15, 2014, five young people were stabbed at a house party in a quiet suburban neighbourhood . The tragedy happened as the victims were celebrating the end of university classes at a home in the northwest community of Brentwood. Lawrence Hong, 27, Joshua Hunter, 23, Kaiti Perras, 23, Zackariah Rathwell, 21, and Jordan Segura, 22, were all stabbed to death.

“We have never seen five people killed by one individual at one scene,” said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson at the time. “It was horrific.”

The man accused of first degree murder in the case is now making his way through the justice system and almost a year after the tragedy, a Calgary judge has now ordered Matthew de Grood to stand trial on five counts of first-degree murder.

Here is a timeline of events in Calgary’s worst mass murder:

April 15, 2014

Police were called to a home on Butler Crescent N.W. at around 1:20 a.m. to a horrific scene. Three young men were pronounced dead at the scene. A woman found stabbed inside the home and a fourth man found stabbed on the front lawn were rushed to hospital where they later died.

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At a news conference later that day, police confirmed a suspect matching witness descriptions was arrested a few blocks away. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries after he was tracked down by police K-9 units. Police say Matthew de Grood, 22, had been an invited guest at the party.

It’s believed he left his job at Safeway at around 11:30 p.m. and then made his way to the home where two dozen people had gathered to mark the annual University of Calgary celebration, Bermuda Shorts Day. He was accused of walking into the house party, grabbing a large kitchen knife, and then stabbing the victims one by one. People who knew de Grood described him as friendly and unassuming.

“Was there anything that precipitated the event, was there something that anyone had done that could have been taken as an insult?” asked Chief Rick Hanson.

“There is nothing to indicate anything like that happened earlier in the day.”

De Grood was a student at the University of Calgary and according to his Facebook page, had recently been accepted into the U of C’s faculty of law. He was the son of a senior officer with the Calgary Police Service.

Kaiti Perras identified as one of five killed in Brentwood stabbing.
Kaiti Perras identified as one of five killed in Brentwood stabbing.
5 people were killed in a stabbing at a house party in Brentwood on April 15, 2014.
5 people were killed in a stabbing at a house party in Brentwood on April 15, 2014.
A man believed to be the stabbing suspect is loaded onto an ambulance.
A man believed to be the stabbing suspect is loaded onto an ambulance. Global News
Calgary fatal stabbing
Police tape surrounds a home on Butler Crescent N.W. where 5 young people were stabbed on April 15, 2014. Global News
Calgary stabbing
Police investigator at the scene of a multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Alberta on April 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Calgary stabbing
Police remove a body from the scene of a multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Police say five people are dead after a stabbing at a house party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
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Zackariah Rathwell, along with Josh Hunter, was a member of the band Zackariah and the Prophets. He was remembered as a talented musician, athlete and artist. “It was his Zack-ness,” said Pastor Warren Wiebe. “His zest for living and life, his zest for people and friends.”.
Zackariah Rathwell, along with Josh Hunter, was a member of the band Zackariah and the Prophets. He was remembered as a talented musician, athlete and artist. “It was his Zack-ness,” said Pastor Warren Wiebe. “His zest for living and life, his zest for people and friends.”.
A photo of Zackariah Rathwell seen on the cover of the program for his April 22nd funeral.
A photo of Zackariah Rathwell seen on the cover of the program for his April 22nd funeral. memorial services
Lawrence Hong is pictured in an undated photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO.
Lawrence Hong is pictured in an undated photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO.
Pallbearers load the casket into a hearse following the funeral for Lawrence Hong, victim of April 15 mass stabbing, in Calgary, Alberta on Wedenesday, April 23, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
Pallbearers load the casket into a hearse following the funeral for Lawrence Hong, victim of April 15 mass stabbing, in Calgary, Alberta on Wedenesday, April 23, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
People hug at a memorial service for Lawrence Hong, victim of April 15th mass stabbing, in Calgary, on Sunday, April 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
People hug at a memorial service for Lawrence Hong, victim of April 15th mass stabbing, in Calgary, on Sunday, April 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
Jordan Segura, a religious studies student at the University of Calgary, was remembered for his infectious smile, love of Ska music and sense of humour.
Jordan Segura, a religious studies student at the University of Calgary, was remembered for his infectious smile, love of Ska music and sense of humour.
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Press photo from Zackariah & the Prophets Facebook page. Singer Zackariah Rathwell, second from left, and Josh Hunter, far right, were victims in a Calgary stabbing spree April 15th.
Press photo from Zackariah & the Prophets Facebook page. Singer Zackariah Rathwell, second from left, and Josh Hunter, far right, were victims in a Calgary stabbing spree April 15th. Facebook Page
Matthew De Grood is facing five charges connected to a multiple fatal stabbing in Brentwood .
Matthew De Grood is facing five charges connected to a multiple fatal stabbing in Brentwood . CP/File photo
Matthew de Grood
Photo of Matthew de Grood from 2008 Saint Francis High School yearbook.
Matt de Grood's father, Doug de Grood, centre, makes a statement following the stabbing deaths of five people.
Matt de Grood's father, Doug de Grood, centre, makes a statement following the stabbing deaths of five people. Nancy Hixt/Global News
A woman places flowers outside the home where 5 young people were stabbed.
A woman places flowers outside the home where 5 young people were stabbed. Global News
Makeshift memorial at police tape line near the scene of a multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Calgary police say the son of one of their own is a suspect in the worst mass murder in the city's history, a bloody and baffling attack on a group of university students at a house party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
Makeshift memorial at police tape line near the scene of a multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Calgary police say the son of one of their own is a suspect in the worst mass murder in the city's history, a bloody and baffling attack on a group of university students at a house party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal. The Canadian Press / Larry MacDougal
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Mourners arrive for the funeral of stabbing victim Kaiti Perras in Calgary on Monday April 21, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood.
Mourners arrive for the funeral of stabbing victim Kaiti Perras in Calgary on Monday April 21, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, second from left, joins mourners arriving for the funeral of stabbing victim Kaiti Perras in Calgary on Monday April 21, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, second from left, joins mourners arriving for the funeral of stabbing victim Kaiti Perras in Calgary on Monday April 21, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Ridewood.
Mourners arrive at the funeral for Zack Rathwell, victim of April 15 mass stabbing, in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
Mourners arrive at the funeral for Zack Rathwell, victim of April 15 mass stabbing, in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
Mourners arrive for the funeral of Zack Rathwell, victim of April 15 mass stabbing, in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
Mourners arrive for the funeral of Zack Rathwell, victim of April 15 mass stabbing, in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal.
A mourner watches large screens during a public memorial at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, April 30, 2014, for five young people stabbed to death at a house party to mark the end of classes.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh.
A mourner watches large screens during a public memorial at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, April 30, 2014, for five young people stabbed to death at a house party to mark the end of classes.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh.
Mourners observe a moment of silence as a public memorial is broadcast on TV screens at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, April 30, 2014, for five young people stabbed to death at a house party to mark the end of classes.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh.
Mourners observe a moment of silence as a public memorial is broadcast on TV screens at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, April 30, 2014, for five young people stabbed to death at a house party to mark the end of classes.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh.

April 21, 2014

Funerals are held for Jordan Segura, Kaiti Perras and Josh Hunter. Segura, a religious studies student at the U of C, was remembered as a generous and wonderful friend, who was always ready with a compliment. Later that day, hundreds of people gather for the funeral for Kaiti Perras where she was eulogized as a dancer, sister and artist. The young woman’s uncle told mourners that she was “a tiny girl with such huge courage.”

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The final funeral that day is for Josh Hunter, who along with murder victim Zackariah Rathwell, was a member of the band Zackariah and the Prophets. The group had just played at an album release party the weekend before the murders. Family friend Peter Gammell said Hunter viewed making new friends as confirmation that the world was a wonderful place.

WATCH: 3 victims of Calgary stabbing laid to rest

April 22, 2014

Matt de Grood is ordered to undergo a 30-day assessment to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial. He had been held at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre since his arrest and appeared in court via closed-circuit television. His lawyer Allan Fay said his client was doing as well as could be expected.

“He’s obviously apprehensive and concerned,” explained Fay. “But he seems to be holding up.”

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De Grood’s court appearance comes as a funeral is held for Zackariah Rathwell.

April 23, 2014

A funeral service is held for 27-year-old Lawrence Hong, who before his death was in his final year in the urban studies program at the U of C. Hong was interested in a future planning public transit, prompting dozens of Calgary Transit employees to pool money to pay for a special charter bus to travel from the university to the service. It was called route 430, in honour of Hong’s April 30th birthday.

April 25, 2014

In honour of the stabbing victims, Calgarians are encouraged to perform ‘5 Little Acts of Love’, including gestures as simple as holding a door open for someone or smiling at a stranger.

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April 30, 2014

A memorial is held at the University of Calgary for all five victims. Hunter, Hong and Segura all studied at the U of C, while Perras studied at Mount Royal University (MRU) and Rathwell attended the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). Scholarships and trust funds are set up in honour of each of the victims.

WATCH: U of C holds memorial for Brentwood stabbing victims

May 22, 2014

Matt de Grood is found fit to stand trial at his first court appearance since being ordered to undergo a 30-day assessment. According to his lawyer, Alan Fay,doctors recommend de Grood receive ongoing psychiatric treatment.

“Being fit to stand trial only means that he understands the process and he can instruct council,” said Fay. “You can still be very profoundly mentally ill and be fit to stand trial.”

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June 18, 2014

Friends, family and strangers gathered together at a fundraiser called Life is Beautiful in honour of the stabbing victims. A concert and silent auction is held the Marquee Beer Market and Stage to raise funds for the families.

“One of my biggest fears… I read somewhere when you lose a child, the world will forget them,” said Zackariah’s mother, Ronda Lee Rathwell. “Nobody wants to forget any of these kids. They were all so amazing. So events like this are good, it keeps their memory alive.”

July 22, 2014

De Grood appears in court in person for the first time since his arrest and is ordered to undergo another psychiatric evaluation to determine if he can be held not criminally responsible for the murders.
“[de Grood is] nervous, obviously,” said his defence lawyer Alan Fay. “He’s been in custody for some time since this occured and he will continue to be in custody for some time. He’s nervous about the prospect and as he’s treated further I think he becomes more lucid and the impact of what he’s facing really comes home to him.”

July 28, 2014

The two-storey home that was the scene of the horrific stabbings is put up for sale, listed for $489,900. The house is described as having tons of potential for the right person or investor.

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August 28, 2014

De Grood’s defence team requests an extension of his mental health review, so a doctor has more time to compile his findings. De Grood is now in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

September 4, 2014

Thousands of people gather at an emotional tribute concert at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary in honour of the five murder victims.

“I’m still dealing with the fact that I don’t have a son to give a hug to, and tell him how proud I am of him and how much I love him,” said Bruce Rathwell, father of Zackariah Rathwell. “I have a big empty heart right at the moment.”

“I just don’t want anyone to forget them…any of them,” added Zackariah’s mother Ronda-Lee. “They were all such amazing kids… all of them.”

The High Hopes concert raised money for the scholarships recreated in the victims’ honour.

November 17, 2014

The families of the five young people make public their opposition to a request by the media to access and report on sealed information about the case.

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Limited details about what happened leading up to, during, and after the killings had been released.

November 26, 2014

A judge reserves a ruling on the media request to have the files in the the case unsealed.

September, 2014

The home that was the scene of the stabbings is sold for $425,000. The new homeowner says he bought the house for redemption in the community and that his faith played a role in the decision. There had been calls in the community for the city to buy the home.

March 2, 2015

Family and friends pack a Calgary courtroom as a preliminary hearing begins to determine if Matt de Grood should stand trial.

March 6, 2015

De Grood is ordered to stand trial.