CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The son of a Calgary police officer was charged in the fatal stabbing of five people at a house party that the law enforcement officials called the worst mass slaying in the western Canadian city's history.
Matthew Douglas de Grood, a recent graduate of the University of Calgary, picked up a large knife shortly after arriving at the party and stabbed the victims one by one shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, said police Chief Rick Hanson.
De Grood, 22, was charged with five counts of murder late Tuesday.
"This is the worst murder — mass murder — in Calgary's history," Hanson said at a news conference Tuesday. "We have never seen five people killed by an individual at one scene. The scene was horrific."
The Calgary attack came nearly a week after a teenage boy in the U.S. stabbed and wounded 21 students at his high school outside Pittsburgh.
Hanson said the motive for the Calgary attack was unknown. He said the suspect's father and mother are devastated.
"They are now feeling so much sorrow," he said. "Those young people are dead and they are absolutely devastated."
Hanson said the identities of the five victims —four men and a woman — will be released when autopsies are completed. He said their ages range from 22 to 27 and they were all "good kids."
Neither the victims nor the suspect had any prior involvement with police, Hanson said.
The University of Calgary said de Grood graduated in 2013 with a bachelor's degree majoring in psychology and a minor in law and society.
Hanson said about 20 people were at the party celebrating the last days of classes at a home in the northwest residential neighborhood of Brentwood, near the campus. He said the suspect was invited to the party and showed up after working his shift at a grocery store and was welcomed inside.
He said it appears that no one at the party had been sleeping when the attack took place shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, but that everyone was taken by surprise.
Hanson said the suspect "targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them several times."
"Was there anything that precipitated the event? Was there something that anyone had done that anyone could have taken as an insult or an affront to this individual? To the best of our knowledge right now, there's nothing to indicate anything like that happened," Hanson said.
Hanson said the suspect allegedly brought a weapon, or "instrument," from work to the party, but grabbed a large knife from inside the house.
Three men were found dead at the home after someone at the party called the emergency dispatcher. A man and a woman died at a hospital.
Police said de Grood was arrested with the help of the police canine unit about 40 minutes after the stabbings and was taken to a hospital for treatment for dog bites.
Hanson said there's nothing to indicate the suspect was drunk or had been doing drugs.
He said police are interviewing witnesses.
The blue-sided house where the stabbings occurred is on a quiet, tree-lined residential street. It was surrounded with yellow police tape as medical examiner staff brought three bodies out on stretchers.
Neighbor Doug Jones said about a dozen students had been drinking beer around a fire pit in the backyard earlier in the night, but they weren't rowdy. He said they were talking about politics and the stock market. They took the party inside at about 9 p.m. and he heard nothing after that.
Other residents in the area said the house party stemmed from the student union's annual Bermuda Shorts Day, which was held Monday. The event is an annual outdoor party on campus featuring live music and beer gardens to celebrate the end of classes.
On Twitter, many students wrote about how they starting drinking Monday morning and, when the campus event ended in the afternoon, they continued at parties elsewhere.
On Tuesday, about 500 students and faculty members attended a late afternoon vigil at the University of Calgary.
With a candle projected on a giant screen, university president Elizabeth Cannon called for a moment of silence.
"The world lost five bright, promising, beautiful young people," she said. "We are still coming to grips with this tragedy and what transpired. We don't know all the details and we don't know the full impact on our University of Calgary community."
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi called it tragic and urged people to support one another.
"Our community has been dealt a grievous blow. We've lost five young people, five good young people who did nothing wrong. Who like all of us had dreams and hopes and were building their lives," Nenshi said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S home construction rose moderately in March as builders resumed work at the end of a frigid winter. But applications for building permits slid, clouding the outlook for future construction.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President George H.W. Bush is featured in a Democrat's campaign commercial, but he plans to endorse the eventual Republican nominee in Georgia's Senate race, his spokesman said Thursday.
Likely Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, a former executive at the Bush-inspired Points of Light Foundation, uses images of the former president in her first campaign ads that try to paint her as a bipartisan leader.
"While leading President Bush's Points of Light Foundation, we grew it into the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service," Nunn says in the ad.
Hoping to head off confusion, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath on Thursday tweeted that "TV ads notwithstanding, @GeorgeHWBush looking forward to endorsing GOP nominee in #gasenate race." He added that it is "critical that @GOP retake the Senate."
Republicans are in the middle of a seven-way primary race in Georgia, with no clear front-runner emerging as voters start paying attention ahead of the May 20 primary.
Republican Reps. Paul Broun, Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey are facing former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and attorney Art Gardner. Conservative activist Derrick Grayson and businessman David Perdue are also in the race to replace Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring.
The messy race lacks a clear favorite in polls, among activists in Georgia or Washington insiders.
On the Democratic side, Nunn is favored over rivals Steen Miles, Branko "Rad" Radulovacki and Todd Anthony Robinson.
Republicans need to hold all of their current seats and pick up six more to become the Senate majority. Democrats are eyeing Georgia as one of the few places where they could wrest a seat from the Republicans' column.
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Classes resumed Wednesday at a Pittsburgh-area high school where authorities said a student stabbed or slashed 21 others and a security guard a week ago while rampaging through a hallway with two kitchen knives.
Before school began, some students gathered at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on the football field behind Franklin Regional High School to pray and to support one another.
After that, as day broke and other students drove to school — or were driven on buses or by their parents — they were greeted by well-wishers from a nearby church who were holding signs of support saying things like "Courage" and "It's a new day."
Karen Ingersoll said she has two children who graduated from the school and two daughters still attend it.
"I think they were ready to go back," Ingersoll said, though she acknowledged there's more healing to come.
"My youngest can't sleep alone yet, she's still sleeping with her sister — she was a witness" to some of the attacks, Ingersoll said.
School and public safety officials have been steadily working toward getting things back to normal, said Dan Stevens, spokesman for the Westmoreland County emergency management department.
On Monday, teachers met with a crisis intervention specialist before spending the day at the school getting re-acclimated to their surroundings. On Tuesday, parents and students were invited to an open house of sorts where they were able to tour the building, which had to be cleaned after the bloody attack. Members of the community gathered at a park Tuesday night for a prayer service.
Suspect Alex Hribal, 16, is being held in a juvenile facility but is charged as an adult with aggravated assault and attempted homicide in the stabbings. Police have said he took the knives and attacked students at random as they arrived at school. Four students remained hospitalized.
Students at the middle and elementary schools, which share a campus with the high school, returned to classes a day after the attack, Stevens said, adding that, since then, the focus has been on returning things to normal at the high school.
"Getting back to school today is going to be a very good thing for them," Stevens said.
About 30 members of the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church next to the school showed up to support the returning students, lining the street near the high school's entrance. Among the other signs they held read "Just know you're not alone," and "Prayers for healing."
Ingersoll, whose sign read "We (heart) U," said therapy dogs present at the open house will be at the school all week.
The school's spring break is this weekend, so students will attend classes Wednesday and Thursday, will be off Friday through Monday and will return Tuesday. Ingersoll said the gradual return to a normal schedule should help.
"I feel so bad for the teachers. Some of them looked so shell-shocked," she said.
Parent Joe Grajewski, who held a sign reading, "FR You are loved," said he came out to support his two children who attend the school, because, "I think every little bit helps. I think sometimes kids feel alone, especially teenagers."
ATLANTA (AP) — Federal labor officials say they're launching a partnership with several Georgia organizations to try preventing construction workers from being exposed to a potentially harmful material.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Georgia Tech officials and several other organizations signed an agreement Tuesday to provide construction industry employers with information and training to reduce workers' exposure to crystalline silica dust.
Labor officials say the dust particles can be inhaled and are known to cause non-reversible and sometimes fatal lung diseases.
Labor officials say workers are typically exposed to the dust during cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, rock and stone products. Officials say processes associated with mining, tunneling, demolition and several other types of work are typically linked to silica exposure.