The man responsible for the killing of five people in Calgary has been identified as Matthew De Grood, 22. What is already being called “the worst mass murder” in the city’s history has left five dead, including four men, one woman, and a community left in a state of shock. Two of the victims have been identified as local rock band musicians, Zackariah Rathwell and Josh Hunter. Friends have also identified the other three victims as Kaiti Perras, Jordan Segura and Lawrence Hong.
The stabbing deaths took place at a local house party, located in the town of Brentwood just to the northeast of the University of Calgary. Reports indicate that a small gathering of 10-20 people had gathered for the evening around a bonfire to celebrate the end of the school year. Students had gathered to celebrate the last day of school and the end of classes for the semester.
Matthew de Grood, the alleged killer, and son of a 33-year veteran police officer in the Tuesday night attack has been identified as a student of the University of Calgary. According to sources, he was also planning on attending law school at the university. He is being charged with five counts of first-degree murder. The 22-year-old assailant is said to have entered the home around 1:20am carrying what police have described as “an instrument,” before grabbing a large kitchen knife and repeatedly stabbing his victims before fleeing the scene. He fled on foot but was soon captured by local authorities with the assistance of a K-9 unit and taken into custody. Police chief, Rick Hanson has said that De Grood was an “invited guest” of the party, but it’s unknown at this time why the suspect has acted, and no motive is yet to be released.
“They were good kids,” said Hanson, referring to the victims, aged between 22 and 27 years-old. A gathering, including hundreds of students and faculty took place at MacEwen Hall for students and staff that have been affected by the tragedy. Elizabeth Cannon, president of the university called it a “senseless tragedy” and offered her condolences to the friends and family of the victims. “We are deeply saddened by this news and will work with our community to ensure our members receive the support that they need,” she said.
Police Chief, Rick Hanson has said that the parents, which include the retired police officer are “heartbroken,” and offer their deepest sympathies to the victim’s families. “They are devastated and they feel so much pain for the families that were impacted by their son,” he said. Clearly shaken, Hanson confirmed that the parents are fully cooperating with the investigation.
Soon, a town torn apart by this senseless act will ask how something like this can happen in a relatively quiet and safe city and neighborhood. In the coming days, the city of Calgary will mourn and inevitably wonder how it’s possible that Matthew de Grood, the man identified as the sole killer in the worst mass murder in the city’s history could have carried out such a senseless act.
By Johnny Caito