Double-murder suicide in Newfoundland
Oct 16, 2013 / 11:32 am
An armed man entered a doctor's office in eastern Newfoundland and shot two people dead before taking his own life at a cemetery in what police said Wednesday was a double-murder suicide.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said a 35-year-old woman and 45-year-old man were killed Tuesday night at the Villa Nova Plaza strip mall in Conception Bay South, about 25 kilometres southwest of St. John's.
The body of a man, who police believe was responsible for the shootings, was found Wednesday in a cemetery on Kenmount Road in the capital city. Police did not release his age.
"We do not believe there is a public safety concern at this time," Const. Talia Murphy said in an interview. "This wasn't a random act of violence. These individuals were known to each other, and the investigation into the motivation behind this is still ongoing."
Murphy said police recovered firearms believed to be used in the incident, but released few other details. The nature of the relationship between the three deceased was not disclosed.
"At this time, out of respect for the family, we're only giving out limited information," said Murphy.
Officers were called to the plaza around 7 p.m. after a report of gunshots fired. The area was quickly cordoned off, businesses were shut down and residents were advised to stay inside their homes as police searched for the shooter.
Mayor Ken McDonald was in a council meeting next door to the plaza when it was interrupted by the fire chief, who told council members there had been a shooting. Members of council and municipal staff were told to stay inside the town hall as a precaution for about 30 minutes until police said it was safe to leave.
"There was nervousness walking out of town hall last night knowing there was an armed suspect who could be anywhere," he said.
There have been two armed robberies at a pharmacy in the plaza in recent months, but McDonald said violence is rare in the town of 24,000 people.
"It's very upsetting that it happened," he said. "There are three families that are affected by this incident right now and, if nothing else, our prayers and thoughts should be with their families regardless of what happened because they've got a couple of hard days ahead of them now to deal with this."
— By Melanie Patten in Halifax
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