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Seven adults, two children dead in domestic violence tragedy: EPS
Stewart Shaw and Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:48AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 30, 2014 11:06PM MST
Edmonton police confirmed Tuesday that overnight calls to three separate locations lead officers to find a total of nine people dead overnight.
EPS said officers were called to a weapons complaint just before 7 p.m. Monday, at a home near Haswell Court and 16 Avenue.
Police said a man had entered the home, discharged a firearm, and left.
When officers arrived, they found a middle-aged woman unresponsive inside, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
EPS later identified Cyndi Duong, 37, as the woman found dead in that home. An autopsy confirmed she died as a result of a gunshot wound.
Later, officers in North Division were called to an address near 83 Street and 180 Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. Monday – the man was not found, and EPS said officers noticed nothing suspicious at that location.
“A check of exterior of the residence revealed nothing suspicious, also, no signs of a suspect vehicle,” EPS Chief Rod Knecht said Tuesday night.
EPS returned to the same location at midnight for a second check-on-welfare call surrounding a suicidal male.
“Further investigation and significant disclosure by a second individual resulted in patrol officers returning to the scene, and grounds were then established which authorized a breach into the residence,” Knecht said.
At that time, police said they didn’t find the male in question – but when they entered the home, found seven bodies; three women, two men and two children, a girl and a boy, both under the age of 10-years-old, inside.
The tragedy shocked neighbours.
“When innocent kids that don’t have anything to do with anything are killed, I’m just disgusted and shocked,” Farley Yuras said. “It’s just horrible that that would happen.”
Finally, EPS Homicide detectives, with help from Fort Saskatchewan RCMP, found a deceased male at the VN Express restaurant in Fort Saskatchewan, about 40 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
According to police, they found a black SUV tied to the first incident at the restaurant, and the man was found inside, dead of an apparent suicide.
Several windows and the front door of that restaurant had been smashed.
The events in Fort Saskatchewan had Edmonton police connecting the deceased man to the seven found dead overnight.
“At this time I can confirm that this male is the same male that police have been attempting to locate since 8:28 p.m. yesterday [Monday],” Knecht said Tuesday afternoon. “Currently, our homicide investigators have determined links between these homicides.”
The Police Chief also said they were not searching for further suspects, and said there was no risk to the public.
“This series of events are not believed to be random acts, and there is no risk to the broader public,” Knecht said. “They do not appear to be gang related, but rather tragic incidents of domestic violence.”
Knecht later said the weapon used in the incidents was a 9 mm handgun, a weapon that had been legally purchased in 1997 and registered in B.C., it was reported stolen in that province in 2006.
The Police Chief also said the home on Edmonton’s north side was known to police.
“Previously, EPS officers attended this residence on two separate occasions,” Knecht said. “The first, in November of 2012 where a male suspect was arrested and charged with offences relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and uttering threats, the second occurrence in 2013 related to a check on welfare.
“This male subject, well known to Edmonton police and has a criminal record dating back to 1987.”
EPS said the identities of the deceased are not being released, until the cause of deaths can be confirmed, along with identities and notification of next of kin.
Land title documents obtained by CTV News showed a Phu Lam and Tien Truong had owned the north Edmonton home since July, 2012 – taking out a $365,837 mortgage for the home with the Royal Bank.
Legal action taken by the Royal Bank saw Tien Troung and a Thuy-Tien Thi Truong sued and forced to pay more than $25,000 in January 2014.
As for connections between the individuals, police said they believed the seven people found in the north side home were related, but that had not been confirmed – the man found dead in the restaurant is believed to have had a business interest in the restaurant.
Late Tuesday evening, Knecht said officers were still processing the scenes.
Additional details from investigators are expected in the New Year, after autopsies are completed.
With files from Veronica Jubinville, Brenna Rose and Susan Amerongen