Condolences come in for victims of house party homicide
Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:57AM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:20PM MDT
The deaths of five people at a home in northwest Calgary has stunned the city and the University of Calgary and the mayor have expressed their condolences for the victims and those who knew the deceased.
The names of the victims have not been released and it is not known if they were students at the University, which is nearby, but neighbours say a number of young people live at the residence where the incident occured.
The University of Calgary released a statement on its website on Tuesday morning saying…
The University of Calgary is mourning the loss of five young people killed early this morning in Brentwood. The identities of the deceased have not yet been confirmed by Calgary Police Services. Once details are confirmed by Calgary Police Services, the university will provide a further statement.
The university is greatly concerned about students, faculty and staff affected by this tragedy. Anyone affected is encouraged to visit the University of Calgary Wellness Centre classroom MSC 370 where supports are available. After hours support is also available at email@example.com.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is from Calgary and tweeted his thoughts...
.@LaureenHarper and I send our condolences to the families & friends of the victims of the senseless violence in Calgary last night.— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) April 15, 2014
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted his condolences…
Thoughts and prayers of all Calgarians are with the young people we lost this morning, their families, friends, and university community.— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) April 15, 2014
CTV News also spoke with Nenshi on Tuesday and he says that everyone in the city has been impacted by the tragedy. "Every Calgarian has been shaken to the core by what happened here and I know that I speak for all Calgarians when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the young people that we lost today, are with their familes, with their friends, and certainly with the University community."
He says that he wants to learn more about what happened and always remember those who were lost.
Alberta Premier Dave Hancock also spoke out about the tragedy...
“This is a senseless, shocking and horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in the Brentwood neighbourhood.
“We will pull together as a community to make sure the families get the support they need as they cope with this terrible event. I understand that the University of Calgary has set up counselling and support services for students, faculty and staff who are affected by this tragedy. Anyone affected is encouraged to visit the University of Calgary Wellness Centre classroom where supports are available.
“I have full confidence that the Calgary Police Service will conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened. I understand that the police already have a suspect in custody and continue to investigate at the scene.
“I want to thank all first responders for their work during this difficult situation.”
Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Regional Minister for Southern Alberta said “I was devastated to learn earlier today of the violent death of five young people in our city. Our hearts ache today for the victims and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends, and the University of Calgary community. On behalf of the Government of Canada and my Parliamentary colleagues from Calgary, I extend my deepest condolences to all those affected by today’s terrible crime.”
Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber and Brentwood resident also released a statement:
“While there are not a lot of details available at this time, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the horrific tragedy. It touches our community so deeply and especially when you consider just how very young the victims were.
I am hopeful that the investigating officers will be able to keep us all informed as this develops. I have not had time to even process what happened or what will need to happen in the next coming hours but will try to find ways to help. One thing I know for certain is that my heart goes immediately to the parents who have suffered such a great loss. We can only try to aid them through this sad time. My heart is breaking for them.”
Len Webber, MLA
Meanwhile, students at the school are in complete shock around the murders on a day that many thought was supposed to be a celebration and a time for some fun.
Garrett Powell, a 19-year-old Communications major, says he can't believe what happened. "My roommate woke me up because my parents kept phoning to see if we were alive. We were just having fun yesterday, a big party."
Hannah Breese says that the incident put a dampener on the whole thing. She says she's been to parties before where there's been trouble, but never seen anything of the scale in Brentwood.
"Maybe there's like two guys, one gets punches and people break it up. Nothing ever like a stabbing or anything,"
Officials with the University of Calgary say that they're responsive to students in need of support in the wake of the deadly tragedy.
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.
A vigil will be held at the U of C at 4:30 p.m. in MacEwan Hall A and B, led by president Elizabeth Cannon, Student Union President Raphael Jacob, , Graduate Students’ Association President SA Sarah Akierman and two university chaplain.
A Facebook page has been started to offer Prayers For the Calgary stabbing victims HERE.