Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Oct. 26, 2023 edition of The Sault Star.
Five people are dead, including three children aged six to 12, following a mass shooting that Sault Ste. Marie police are describing as the "result of intimate partner violence."
The shooter, a 44-year-old whose name is being withheld at this time, is amongst the dead and police state that there is no ongoing risk to public safety.
This shooting took place at two residences late Monday night, police said.
Around 10:20 p.m., 911 communications received a report of someone breaking into a residence in the 200 block of Tancred Street.
When officers arrived at the residence, they discovered a 41-year-old dead from a gunshot wound. The shooter had already fled the scene.
At roughly 10:30 p.m., 911 operators received word of another break-in taking place at a residence in the 200 block of Second Line East.
After officers arrived at the scene, they found a 45-year-old injured from a gunshot wound. The victim was rushed to hospital.
Upon entering the residence, officers located three other victims, aged six, seven and 12, all dead from gunshots.
The shooter was also located at this Second Line East residence dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sault Ste. Marie Police Services said in a Tuesday morning news release that the two shootings are connected and are being investigated as such.
“Our community is once again faced with the tragic and unnecessary loss of life,” SSMPS Chief Hugh Stevenson said in the 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.”
Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Matthew Shoemaker released a statement Tuesday morning which stated that he remains in close contact with Chief Stevenson with regards to this shooting.
Shoemaker also expressed his sympathies for those impacted by this “tremendous loss.”
“This is an unspeakable tragedy and on behalf of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, I extend our community’s collective condolences and support to the family and loved ones of the victims,” the mayor said.
“Together, as a community, we stand with them and with our brave first responders. 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.”
Algoma District School Board's director of education Lucia Reece said, "The entire Algoma District School Board community is heartbroken and mourns the loss of three students."
Counsellors and support staff have been put in place at the two schools impacted by this "tragedy," Boreal French Immersion Public School and Superior Heights.
Reece asks families and community members to minimize calls to schools.
"Families at impacted sites will be receiving information later today on how to access additional supports if needed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this tragic incident," she said in a statement.
SSMPS officers remain at both residences Tuesday morning and the investigation continues.
Police say the 45-year-old victim rushed to hospital received “serious injuries.” Police were unable to provide further updates of the victim’s condition.
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Kyle Darbyson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sault Star