In a heart-wrenching incident, Canadian authorities discovered five individuals dead, including three children, in two residences in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The case, described as an “unspeakable tragedy,” unfolded late Monday after police received reports of break-ins in the area.
The first residence revealed the lifeless body of a 41-year-old individual, who had suffered a fatal gunshot wound. The alleged shooter had fled the scene before police arrived.
A mere ten minutes later, another emergency call led police to a second home located just 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles) away. Inside, they found the lifeless bodies of three children aged six, seven, and twelve, along with the alleged shooter, who appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A fifth victim, aged 45, was discovered injured with a gunshot wound and was transported to the hospital.
Sault police chief Hugh Stevenson released a statement confirming that the incidents were linked and were the result of intimate partner violence. Stevenson expressed his condolences, stating, “Our community is once again faced with the tragic and unnecessary loss of life. The grief the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims are facing is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to them. As our community grieves this tragedy, I urge everyone to please watch out for each other. If you are struggling, or if you see someone you know struggling, please make use of the mental health supports available in our community.”
Mayor Matthew Shoemaker also expressed his sorrow, calling the incident an “unspeakable tragedy.”
On Tuesday, police urged the public to refrain from calling their non-emergency/business line to inquire about the case, stating that updates would be released as their investigation progressed. The incident highlights the ongoing issue of gun violence in Canada, where gun crimes have decreased from 2020 to 2021 but remain a concern, particularly when compared to a decade ago.