EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Nine people, including seven adults and two young children, were found dead at three separate crime scenes in what Edmonton’s police chief on Tuesday called the city’s worst mass murder.
Chief Rod Knecht told a news conference the killings were the result of domestic violence. The victims included a woman found Monday night by officers who were responding to a weapons complaint at a south Edmonton home.
The bodies of three more women, two men, a boy and a girl were discovered a few hours later in the northeast part of the city where officers had checked on reports of a depressed, suicidal male earlier in the evening.
None of the victims was identified, but Knecht said the public was not in danger.
“It is a tragic day for Edmonton,” he said. “This series of events are not believed to be random acts. … These events do not appear to be gang-related, but rather tragic incidents of domestic violence.”
A man matching the description of the suicidal male was found dead in a restaurant in the Edmonton bedroom community of Fort Saskatchewan on Tuesday morning, Knecht said.
“Our homicide investigators have established associations and linkages between these homicides,” he said.
Police would not elaborate on the connection between the deaths.
“It’s a really complex case involving multiple locations and police have yet to identity the suicide victim so police cannot yet say with 100 percent accuracy what the connection is,” said police spokesman Scott Patterson.
In Edmonton, a western Canadian city of 878,000 people, mass murders are extremely rare. Knecht said the case was the worst mass killing in the city since at least 1956, when six people were murdered.
John Etter Clark, a provincial politician who served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for four years, killed his wife, son, three daughters and an employee of their family farm before taking his own life in 1956. Clark had been suffering from frequent nervous breakdowns in the years before the killings.
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