A body is removed from a home in northwest Calgary. Police say five people are dead after a stabbing at a small house party. Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press
The man suspected of fatally stabbing five young people at a northwest Calgary house party is the son of a veteran police officer in the city, CBC News has learned.
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The suspect is in custody after four males and one female, all in their teens to 20s, died following the early-morning stabbings in the city’s Brentwood neighbourhood, just north of the University of Calgary campus.
The stabbings happened around 1:20 a.m. MT on Tuesday at a house in the 100 block of Butler Crescent N.W., police said.
According to two sources with knowledge of the investigation, the 23-year-old suspect arrested shortly after the incident is the son of a veteran inspector with the Calgary Police Service. The recent U of C grad was planning to attend law school.
According to neighbours, the people at the house had been celebrating the last day of university classes with a fire in a home's backyard.
Bermuda Shorts Day festivities to mark the end of the University of Calgary’s winter semester have been a campus tradition since 1960.
Three people were pronounced dead at the scene while two others were taken to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition, and later died, officials said.Four of those who died were male and one was female, officials said.
One other person suffered minor injuries.
The three bodies in the house were taken away by officials from the medical examiner’s office around mid-morning.
Officials are still working to identify the victims and notify their families. No names will be released until autopsies have been completed, police said.
Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson has scheduled a news conference for 11:30 a.m. MT.
The suspect fled on foot but police arrested him about 40 minutes later with assistance from the K-9 unit. Investigators are not looking for any more suspects.
The suspect was taken to hospital to be treated for a dog bite. His name will be released once charges have been laid, police said.
The homicide unit is leading the investigation with assistance from the forensics team as a heavy police presence remained in the neighbourhood Tuesday.
Detectives took several witnesses to a police station to be interviewed.
No previous problems at house
Nearby resident Doug Jones told CBC News he noticed about 12 to 20 university-aged people at the backyard party.
“When it started to get dark, they moved inside and once inside, you wouldn’t even be able to tell there was anything really even going on. It wasn’t loud at all,” he said.
"We’ve never had any problems over there."
Jones, who lives next door, said he thinks there are at least three students who live in the house. He said his bedroom door looks out on their backyard.
“What really touches me about it is how it can happen. I mean, we never heard a thing.”
Jones said Brentwood is an “old-fashioned neighbourhood."
“Nothing ever happens here because we’re in a crescent, we don’t get any other traffic other than people that live here, people that are coming to visit,” he said.
“It’s pretty shocking, it just goes to show it can happen anywhere.”
"The University of Calgary is mourning the loss of five young people killed early this morning in Brentwood," the school said in a written release, promising to provide further comment once more details are confirmed.
The university is offering counselling to students, faculty and staff affected by the tragedy. They are encouraged to go to the university's wellness centre in classroom MSC 370 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of all those affected,” said Raphael Jacob, president of the university's students’ union.
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