The son of a veteran police officer is facing murder charges after he allegedly stabbed to death five people at a party near the University of Calgary early Tuesday.
It is the worst mass killing in the Canadian city's history.
Matthew de Grood, 22, was charged with five counts of first-degree murder. The CBC reported that he attended the university and had planned to go to law school.
The victims — four men and a woman — were "good kids" between 22 and 27, said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson. Three men died at the scene and the others died at a local hospital. A sixth person suffered minor injuries.
Two victims were members of a local band that held a party Saturday to celebrate the release of its debut album, the Calgary Herald reported.
"This is the worst mass murder in Calgary's history," Hanson said at a news conference. "We have never seen five people killed by an individual at one scene. The scene was horrific."
De Grood arrived at the house party about 1:20 a.m. MT after leaving his job at a grocery store. He was carrying a weapon that police described only as "an instrument" that apparently came from work. He then grabbed a large kitchen knife and "targeted" his victims, repeatedly stabbing them one by one, Hanson said. No possible motive was disclosed.
About 20 students were at the party in the Brentwood neighborhood, just north of the university. Neighbors said they were celebrating the last day of classes, the CBC reported.
"We understand the party was for friends and people of the university and the suspect was an invited guest," Hanson said.
The victims "did nothing wrong and nothing that they did contributed to what happened to them."
The suspect fled after the stabbings but was found about 40 minutes later with help from a police K-9. He was treated at the hospital for a dog bite.
The suspect's father, Inspector Douglas de Grood, a 33-year veteran of the police service, is "absolutely devastated," Hanson said. "He wanted me to pass on condolences to all the family of the victims."
Hundreds turned out for a memorial vigil on campus that began in late afternoon.