A man with a lengthy criminal record killed six adults and two young children before taking his own life in Canada in what the local police chief called the city’s worst mass murder.
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht told a news conference said the motive for the “senseless mass murder” appears to have been “planned and deliberate” domestic violence.
Knecht did not release the name of the suspect, but said the man was well-known to police and had a criminal record dating back to September 1987.
Cindy Duong (37) was fatally shot in a home in south Edmonton on Monday, while two men and three women between the ages of 25 and 50, and a girl and a boy – both under 10 – were found dead a few hours later at a home in the northeast.
Investigators have determined the 9mm handgun used to kill Duong was a registered weapon that had been stolen in British Columbia in 2006. The suspect was found dead by his own hand in a restaurant in the Edmonton community of Fort Saskatchewan on Tuesday.
Duong’s body was found at around 7pm on Monday when police responded to a report of a man entering the south-side home, opening fire and fleeing.
An hour and a half later, officers responded to reports of a suicidal man at a northeast residence in a quiet cul de sac, the same home where the suspect had been arrested in November 2012 and charged with domestic and sexual assault.
Family members reported in the call that the man was “depressed and over-emotional”.
When officers arrived, no one answered the door. They searched the exterior of the home but found nothing and did not go inside. “We can’t just arbitrarily go into that residence,” explained the chief.
Hours later, police were contacted by a second person and returned to the residence. When they went in, they found a scene of carnage with seven bodies.
Neighbour Moe Assiff said he saw officers come out and talk to a woman sitting with a man in a white car outside the house.
“She just let out a hysterical scream. It was eerie,” Assiff said. “She was screaming about her kids: ‘My kids! The kids!,’ grabbing her hair and trying to pull her hair out.”
The suspect’s body was found hours later in Fort Saskatchewan after police surrounded the area and smashed through the front of the restaurant.