Nine Die in Edmonton’s Largest Mass Murder in Decades

Police are investigating eight homicides in Alberta’s capital and the apparent suicide of the suspected killer nearby, in what may be the region’s worst mass murder in decades.

Four female adults, two male adults, one boy and one girl were found dead last night and early this morning at two separate homes in Edmonton. The suspected killer, an adult male, was found dead at a Fort Saskatchewan restaurant about 40 kilometers (24 miles) northeast of Edmonton, said Rod Knecht, chief of the Edmonton Police Service.

“It is a tragic day for Edmonton and our thoughts go out to the community as we all come to grips with the senseless mass murder of eight people,” Knecht said today in a briefing, adding that the last significant multiple murder in the region was in 1956 and involved the killing of six people.

The investigation continues, Knecht said.

Police are trying to confirm whether the man found dead at the Fort Saskatchewan restaurant was involved in both crime scenes in Edmonton as they suspect, Scott Pattison, an Edmonton Police Service spokesman, said in an interview. The names of the suspected killer and the victims haven’t been released.

Police were alerted to the first killing when they responded to a southwest Edmonton home at 6:52 p.m. local time last night after a weapons complaint. They allege that a man entered the private residence, shot a weapon and fled, Knecht said. A middle-aged woman was found dead.

Suicidal Suspect

At 8:28 p.m., police went to a home in north Edmonton after being called about a man whose family thought he was suicidal. When officers arrived, the man wasn’t there. Shortly after midnight, new information led them back to the north Edmonton home, where they found seven people dead, Knecht said.

At 2:20 a.m., homicide detectives arrived at the Fort Saskatchewan restaurant. By 8:45 a.m., they had determined a dead man found at the scene had killed himself, and they later confirmed his description matched that of the suicidal male. Police believe a black sport utility vehicle at the restaurant is linked to the first killing in southwest Edmonton, Knecht said.

“This series of events are not believed to be random acts and there is no risk to the broader public,” Knecht said. “These events do not appear to be gang-related but rather tragic incidents of domestic violence.”

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