A Canadian man shot and killed eight people in a murderous rampage before turning the gun on himself in Edmonton, Alberta on Tuesday.
According to Edmonton Police Chief Ron Knecht, seven of the victims, including two children, were found inside a house in north Edmonton on Tuesday. Another victim was found shot to death in a south Edmonton home and the shooter had been discovered dead in a restaurant in a nearby community.
"This series of events are not believed to be random acts and there is no risk to the broader public," Knecht said. "These events do not appear to be gang related but rather tragic incidents of domestic violence."
Knecht added that this shooting was the worst mass violence in Edmonton, a city of about 812,000 people in the western Canada province of Alberta according to CNN, since people were killed in 1956.
According to Canadian newspaper National Post, the shooter has been identified as 53-year-old Phu Lam. Although police have not publicly identified him yet, other sources indicated that he was the co-owner of the house were seven victims died Tuesday morning.
Knecht indicated that the attack by Lam was "planned, deliberate and targeted."
"In my 39 years of policing, I've never seen anything like it," he said.
CNN reported that so far, authorities have identified one victim, 37-year-old Cyndi Duong. The police chief thought that all the shooting victims were connected.
"The series of events began at 6:52 p.m. Monday when police were called to a residence in the Haddow neighborhood in south Edmonton where they say a man entered the home, and shot and killed a woman with a 9-mm handgun, before fleeing," the National Post reported.
That woman was later identified by police as Duong. The National Post noted that an autopsy confirmed she died from a gunshot wound.
Knecht told CTV News that police have been called to Lam's home twice in the past. He commented that the first encounter was in November 2012, when a man was arrested and faced domestic violence, sexual assault and "uttering threats" charges.
According to Knecht, the second incident happened in 2013, when police conducted a welfare check.
CTV News reported that Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson stopped by the home to leave a bouquet of flowers at a growing memorial outside on Wednesday. He issued a statement indicating that he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the deaths.
"The scale of these events is rare and exceptional," Iveson said in the statement. "However, domestic violence remains all too common in our society and this tragedy is a harsh reminder of the continuing need for support for individuals and families in crisis, and the critical importance of reporting any instances of domestic violence to police."
According to CTV News, the mayor of Edmonton offered his thanks to police and other first responders who do their jobs with "courage and focus in otherwise horrific circumstances."