Calgary Stabbing: 5 Dead in 'Worst Mass Murder' in City's History

Image: Calgary Stabbing: 5 Dead in 'Worst Mass Murder' in City's History

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 10:33 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A University of Calgary student has been charged with murder after allegedly stabbing five people to death at a house party early Tuesday morning in what officials are calling the "worst mass murder" in the Canadian city's history.

Police say 22-year-old Matthew De Grood, who is also the son of a longtime Calgary police officer, was invited to the party celebrating the end of the semester, but they have no idea why he went on a stabbing rampage with a kitchen knife, according to the Calgary Herald.

The newspaper identified the victims as Lawrence Hong, Josh Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell, and Jordan Segura, who were all attacked unprovoked shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, authorities told the Herald.

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"[The victims were] targeted one by one," Calgary police chief Rick Hanson said. "These were all good kids. There's no question about that. They did nothing wrong, and nothing that they did contributed to what happened to them."

CBC News reported that de Grood is the son of veteran Calgary police officer Doug de Grood. The elder de Grood has held several leadership roles with the Calgary police over the course of his more than 30-year career.

"He . . . asked that I would pass on — he's heartbroken, as his wife is — and he said, 'Could you please pass on to the families our total and complete sorrow and condolences as to what happened?'" Hanson told CBC News of Doug de Grood's response to the charges against his son. "They feel so much pain for the families that were impacted by their son."

Information about the victims has been sparingly reported, but Hunter was a University of Calgary business student while Rathwell attended Alberta College of Art and Design, CBC News noted.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of ACAD student Zackariah Rathwell. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," the Alberta College of Art and Design posted to Twitter Tuesday.

Hunter and Rathwell were members of the Calgary band Zackariah and the Prophets, which reportedly held its debut album release party Saturday.

"Everybody is so shocked right now," a former high school classmate of de Grood told the Calgary Herald. "I saw his picture. At first I thought, 'Oh, my God, maybe he's the one who got hurt. Then I read underneath. My heart just dropped."

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