SIU investigating after incident leaves 2 dead, 3 in hospital in Town of East Gwillimbury, Ont.

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Ontario's police watchdog is investigating after an incident on Saturday that left two people dead, including the suspect, and three others in hospital — including an infant and a young child —in the Town of East Gwillimbury, Ont.

York Regional Police said officers were called to a residence on Ridge Gate Crescent in Mount Albert, a village on the eastern edge of the town, for reports of a stabbing.

In a news release Saturday night, police said several people were stabbed.

When police arrived on scene, they located an adult female on the front porch of the residence who was pronounced deceased, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said in a release Saturday night.

SIU said officers then entered the residence and became involved in an interaction with a man, resulting in the man being fatally shot by two officers.

Three other people were rushed to hospital with serious injuries, including an infant, a young child and an another adult female,York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle said at a news conference. There is no confirmation on the age of the victims yet.

Five investigators and four forensic investigators have been assigned to the case. At this time, two subject officers and one witness officer have been designated, SIU said.

Mike Cole/CBC
Mike Cole/CBC

"We do want to ensure that the community knows that there is no ongoing public safety concern," Nicolle said.

In terms of the extent of the injuries, police said they don't have that information as of yet. The connection between the suspect and the victims is also unclear at this point.

"Obviously, this is a terrible incident and our thoughts are with all of them right now as they're in hospital," Nicolle said.

Earlier, York Region paramedics confirmed that two people died in the incident and three others were taken to a local hospital.

"This is a most tragic situation and I am deeply shocked and saddened to have this happen in our small community of Mount Albert," East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson said in a statement to CBC News following the incident.

"On behalf of Council I extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and friends."

Joshua McNamara, a public relations officer for Ornge, Ontario's air ambulance service, said air ambulances were called to a stabbing and they were on standby.

Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe, said in a tweet: "My heart breaks for the victims of the horrible tragedy in Mount Albert. My thoughts are with the victims and the first responders. Mount Albert is a strong community and will come together to support each other through the days ahead."

'We heard three distinct shots,' resident says

Jeffrey McKechnie, a nearby resident, said he saw two police cruisers arrive and officers enter the house. "We heard three distinct shots, possibly followed by two more, which sounded louder," he said.

McKechnie said he saw one of the deceased on the front porch steps. He said he saw another person that was taken away by emergency crews.

"It's a little scary. You don't suspect something in a town of 5,500 people. It's a little disturbing," he said

Joshua Driscoll, another nearby resident, said he saw a body on the ground in front of the house and a police officer pacing back and forth. He said he didn't know the people that live in the house.

"It's unfortunate," said Driscoll, who said he and his family moved into the area about five years ago. "We moved to be away from all of this stuff. Unfortunately, this is what happens in the world."