Condolences are pouring in for five young people stabbed to death in Calgary early today.
They had been celebrating the last day of university classes with an overnight backyard bonfire in the northwest neighbourhood of Brentwood, according to neighbours.
Matthew deGrood, 23, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
The University of Calgary held a community gathering Tuesday afternoon at MacEwan Hall for concerned students and staff.
Earlier in the day, politicians and university officials expressed their concern and offered condolences to the victims' families.
Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary:
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families who have lost their love ones in this senseless tragedy. The university community has lost a part of its family and this is a very difficult time for all of us...We are deeply saddened by this news and we will work with our community to ensure our members receive the support that they need...This is a terrible, terrible tragedy and I think not one that one wants to be speaking about – young people who've lost their lives at a very critical point in their lifetimes and a huge impact on all of us.”
Interim Premier Dave Hancock:
"It's a very tragic event. I understand the police are obviously investigating and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved. You know, everybody's wondering what happened in that circumstance, but we have to leave it to the police and the medical personnel to do that determination."
Len Webber, MLA, Calgary-Foothills:
"While there are not a lot of details available at this time, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the horrific tragedy. It touches our community so deeply and especially when you consider just how very young the victims were.
I am hopeful that the investigating officers will be able to keep us all informed as this develops. I have not had time to even process what happened or what will need to happen in the next coming hours but will try to find ways to help. One thing I know for certain is that my heart goes immediately to the parents who have suffered such a great loss. We can only try to aid them through this sad time. My heart is breaking for them."
Michelle Rempel, MP, Calgary- Centre North:
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of the tragedy which occurred in Brentwood this morning. I would like to thank law-enforcement officers and first responders for their quick work in this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation as details emerge."
Raphael Jacob, University of Calgary student union president:
"We are shocked to learn of the senseless tragedy that occurred early this morning on the 100 block of Butler Cres. NW. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of all those affected.
The SU Wellness Centre can provide counselling services both in person and over the phone, and additional staff will be available to help the campus community. Located on the third floor of MacEwan Student Centre, the SU Wellness Centre phone number is 403-210-9355 – press option 2 for counselling. After hours support is also available at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we have details confirmed by Calgary Police Services, I will provide a further statement.
As well, a number of cell phones were turned into our lost and found yesterday, which may have made it difficult for friends and family to connect during this stressful time. The SU’s lost and found will open later this morning so that owners can claim their phones and other lost items. The SU lost and found is located on the second floor of MacEwan Student Centre."
Many people also used Twitter to express their concern: