WARNING: This story contains distressing details.
Sault Ste. Marie police are investigating after a total of five people, including three children, were found dead at two homes in the northern Ontario city on Monday night.
Police said in a news release they responded to a 911 call at 10:20 p.m. and found a 41-year-old dead of a gunshot wound at the 200 block of Tancred Street.
Ten minutes later, officers responded to a second call, at a residence on Second Line East, where they found a 45-year-old who was injured by a gunshot wound.
Police found a six-year-old, seven-year-old and 12-year-old who had all been shot and killed. They also found a 44-year-old who was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Deaths connected, police say
Police said the deaths at both locations are connected and were the result of intimate partner violence.
“Our community is once again faced with the tragic and unnecessary loss of life,” said Sault Ste. Marie police Chief Hugh Stevenson in a release.
“The grief the families, friends and loved ones of the victims are facing is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to them. As our community grieves this tragedy, I urge everyone to please watch out for each other. If you are struggling, or if you see someone you know struggling, please make use of the mental health supports available in our community.”
In a statement, Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Matthew Shoemaker said “there are no words to adequately address such a tremendous loss.”
Shoemaker extended the community’s collective condolences and support to the families and loved ones of the victims.
“Together, as a community, we stand with them and with our brave first responders,” Shoemaker said.
“We grieve with them as we try to reckon with this inconceivable act of violence. Sault Ste. Marie is a strong and caring community, and I encourage people to look out for one another and offer support during this incredibly challenging time.”
School board mourns loss of 3 students
In a statement, Algoma District School Board director of education Lucia Reece said the school community is “heartbroken” as it mourns the loss of three students.
“Counsellors and support staff have been put in place at schools impacted by this tragedy,” Reece said in the statement.
“We appreciate families and community members minimizing calls to schools during this time. Families at impacted sites will be receiving information later today [Tuesday] on how to access additional supports if needed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this tragic incident.”
In an updated statement Reece said the children attended Boreal French Immersion Public School and Superior Heights high school.
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