Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:52AM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 16, 2014 7:22AM MDT
Five people are dead and the son of a veteran Calgary police officer is facing five counts of first-degree murder in connection to their deaths at a house party in the city’s northwest.A suspect is accused of stabbing the five victims with a knife he picked up inside the house. Wednesday morning, Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson told CTV News people who were at the party are “traumatized”.
The university is offering a number of counselling options for students. Exams were supposed to start Thursday, but students will have a chance to write them at a later date. Police were called out to a house party on Butler Crescent in the northwest neighbourhood of Brentwood around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Someone inside the home made the call. Three young men were found stabbed to death inside the house, a young woman was clinging to life, and another young man was found bleeding on the front lawn. The man and woman were rushed to hospital, but they died from their stab wounds. The suspect took off, but a police K9 unit was able to track him down and he was arrested just a few blocks away. Police have charged Matthew de Grood, 22, with five counts of first-degree murder. He is a University of Calgary student and was invited to the party. Chief Hanson says when the suspect arrived he was armed with a weapon, but also grabbed a knife he found inside the house. Hanson says the suspect “targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them several times”. Hanson says that he has spoken with the police officer whose son is the suspect. Hanson says he is ‘absolutely devastated’ at what happened. “He wanted me to pass on condolences to all the family of the victims.” He added that the scene in Brentwood was horrific. “We’ve never had five people killed like that before. A scene like that has a tremendous impact on the members.” Allan Fay, de Grood’s lawyer, said his client was charged at his bedside by telephone at Rockyview Hospital. Fay said he appeared to understand the serious charges he is now facing. He seemed lucid and appeared capable, said Fay. De Grood was taken from Rockyview to the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychology Centre for assessment. He is scheduled to appear in Provincial Court April 22. Neighbours in the area were surprised to hear about the murders. Doug Jones said he was home on Monday night and noticed a party was wrapping up at the home.
“From 8:30 until about 9:00, and they were just shutting ‘er down and they moved inside. They weren’t even that loud, so I don’t – you know, by 10, 10:30, you could barely even tell they had people over there.” Jones says the home at the centre of the police investigation is a rental and currently houses a number of students. “Never have any problems with them. They’re good people. I don’t know what to say.” Cheryl Roger, another resident in Brentwood, says that she knows university kids live at the home. “I drive past and see them there.” She says it’s very shocking to see violence in the neighbourhood because there is very rarely any trouble.
Roger says she suspects the stabbing was related to a party at the home. “My son was interviewed earlier this morning and said it was ‘Bermuda Shorts Day’ at the university. So I’m sure it was another one of those parties like the one up on Brisebois. Bunch of kids together and drinking and stuff.”
Counsellors will be on hand at the Wellness Centre at the University of Calgary at MSC 370 and support is also available after hours at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 403-210-9355.
Autopsies are expected to be conducted Wednesday for the five victims.