Police suspect domestic violence in Canada shooting rampage

Author: Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Police on Wednesday were investigating what prompted a man to kill six adults and two young children in Edmonton before taking his own life in a horrific rampage described as the Canadian city’s worst mass shooting.

Scott Pattison, a police spokesman, said the suspect’s criminal history indicates it was a case of domestic violence but officials have not yet confirmed the shooter’s relationship to the victims. He said police were waiting for the medical examiner to confirm the identities of all the victims.

Police did not release the name of the suspect but said the man was well-known to police and had a criminal record dating back to September 1987. He had been arrested in in November 2012 and charged with domestic and sexual assault.

“It’s all related to the history, the fact that he was charged with uttering threats previously, and it appears that the murders were planned and deliberate,” Pattison said.

Cyndi Duong, 37, was found fatally shot in a home on Monday, while two men and three women between the ages of 25 and 50 and a girl and a boy – both under the age of 10 – were found dead a few hours later at another home.

The suspect was found dead by his own hand in VN Express, a restaurant in the city’s bedroom community of Fort Saskatchewan on Tuesday morning. A police tactical team had surrounded the area and reportedly smashed through the front of the restaurant with a vehicle before finding the suspect dead.

The daughter-in-law of an owner of VN Express said the suspect was a maintenance man at the restaurant and had a key to it, as well as after-hours access.

Huong Tran said the man was her mother-in-law’s ex-husband, but she declined further comment.

Duong’s body was found around 7 p.m. Monday when police responded to a report of a man entering the home, opening fire and fleeing, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said.

An hour and a half later, officers responded to a call reporting a “depressed and over-emotional” man at another home. It was the same home where the suspect had been arrested two years earlier and charged with domestic and sexual assault.

When officers arrived, no one answered the door, Knecht said. They found nothing overtly suspicious and did not go inside. Hours later, police were contacted by a second person and returned. When they went inside, they found a scene of carnage with seven bodies.

Pattison said police “can’t just breach into the door or enter the residence without due cause.”

He also said it appears the killings would not have been prevented had police entered the first time. “The individual wasn’t spotted at the time. But it appears that the individuals that were in the house, the deceased, had been there for some time,” he said.

He said autopsies will be conducted Thursday.

Outside the restaurant where the suspect’s body was found, police found a parked black SUV that they say was seen near the location of the first shooting.

Investigators have determined the 9 mm handgun used in the killings was a registered weapon that had been stolen in Surrey, British Columbia, in 2006.

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