Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Students in state of shock

Couldn't intervene in stabbings, says police chief

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A group of 20 young adults might have been too shocked or too fearful to intervene during a horrific stabbing that killed five people early Tuesday, said the city's police chief.

"These kids were all just out of school, having fun at this party and completely not expecting anything like this to happen," said Chief Rick Hanson.

"Some might have wanted to intervene, but others might have been too shocked, and others might have just wanted to leave.

"It's not always easy to disarm someone who has a weapon when you don't have one yourself."

Hanson said police are continuing to interview and re-interview the 20 people who were at the party at the time of the stabbing in the early morning hours of Tuesday.

Hanson stressed he understands the community is asking questions, as they should, about why and how something so horrific could happen.

"And I know at some point, we will have those answers."

Beyond interviewing witnesses, police are looking into the details of the whereabouts of the man accused in the killing in the hours leading up to the crime, including his time at work and his state of mind. The man accused of the first-degree murders attended the party that evening as an invited guest.

"We need to know everything that happened leading up to this to help us understand what actually happened."

Hanson confirmed the police know the accused arrived at the party some time after his shift Monday at a grocery store.

"In fact, he arrived at the party wearing his smock...."

It's alleged the accused also brought a box cutter to the home, though Hanson would not say whether a box cutter was used in the crime.

"He arrived and then just visited with people."

It's still not clear what led to the fatal incident that was called in as a stabbing in progress at about 1:20 a.m.

For more information on the accused's state of mind, police are also combing through his belongings and his online activity.

"We are looking through all of this computers, all of his cellphones, his electronic devices, anything that is relevant. We will go anywhere we need to investigate and gather evidence."

Hanson urged the families of those 20 kids that were at the party to seek out any psychological help they need through the police's victim assistance unit or Alberta Health.


-- Calgary Herald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2014 A10

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