Police in western Canada were investigating on Wednesday the “senseless mass murder” of six adults and two children, who were apparently slain by a depressed man who later killed himself.
Police Chief Rod Knecht said killings — the worst ever in Edmonton — were “planned and deliberate” and apparently were carried out during a domestic dispute.
The killings began late Monday in the southern part of Edmonton, a city of nearly one million people in Alberta province, where a man shot to death a woman in her 30s, Knecht said.
The man then headed to a residence in the north of the city, where he killed another seven people — three women, two men, a girl and a boy.
Alerted by reports of a disturbance, police went Monday initially to a home in Edmonton where they discovered the body of the first female victim.
They went later that evening to investigate reports of a “suicidal male” at a house in the north of the city.
An initial visit to the house showed nothing that appeared out of the ordinary, but when police returned a few hours later and entered the home; they discovered the bodies of the seven murder victims.
The body of the suspected killer, an apparent suicide, was found early Tuesday in a Vietnamese restaurant in Fort Saskatchewan, a northeastern suburb of Edmonton.
Authorities indicated that the suspect “had a business interest” in the restaurant where his body was found.
The names and ages of the victims and their killer were not immediately released.
Knecht said the suspect had a criminal record dating back to 1987 of sexual assault and violence, and was in deep financial distress.
A woman told the Edmonton Journal newspaper that she had heard noises Monday outside the restaurant.
She looked and saw several police officers, one of whom yelled through a megaphone for someone in the restaurant to “come out with your hands up!”.