US & Canada

Calgary stabbing victims mourned at university

University of Calgary students and staff sign condolences on a University of Calgary banner during a memorial service for victims of the multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Alberta 15 April 2014
University of Calgary student wrote condolences on a banner during a vigil for victims on Tuesday

A Calgary university is mourning those killed on Tuesday in a stabbing attack a police chief has called the Canadian city's worst-ever mass murder.

The deceased have been identified in Canadian media as Zackariah Rathwell, Kaitlin Perras, Jordan Segura, Lawrence Hong and Josh Hunter.

On Tuesday evening hundreds attended a vigil for the victims at the University of Calgary.

Matthew de Grood, 22 has been charged with five counts of murder.

Mr de Grood, a University of Calgary (UC) student, is the son of a 33-year veteran of the Calgary police force.

'So much pain'

Police say the suspect left his job at a nearby grocer late on Monday night and headed toward a house party where students celebrated the last day of classes at the university.

About 01:00 local time, shortly after he arrived, he began attacking partygoers, police said.

"The suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them," Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson said.

He fled but was captured soon afterwards.

Police say Matthew de Grood began the attack shortly after arriving at the party

His parents were co-operating with the investigation, Mr Hanson said, and were devastated by the attack.

"They feel so much pain for the families that were impacted by their son."

Canadian media reported Mr de Grood's Facebook page indicated that he had been accepted to law school at the university.

Police have not revealed a motive for the attack.

All the victims were in their 20s, Mr Hanson told reporters.

"They did nothing wrong, and nothing that they did contributed to what happened to them," he said.

Police say neither the suspect or the victims had any prior police record

Two victims, Hunter and Rathwell, were members of a popular local band, Zackariah and the Prophets.

Hunter, as well as Segura and Hong, were UC students, Canadian media reported. Rathwell was a student at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Little is known about Perras.

University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon called for a moment of silence on Tuesday afternoon during a memorial for the victims, whom she called "bright, promising, beautiful young people".

"Today we come together and we mourn those five lives lost," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a UC alumnus, said. "We mourn that additional one life plunged into darkness. It's going to be hard for us as a community."

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