Unfortunately, April 15th will never be the same again for Calgary residents, after they have witnessed what the media called "Worse Collective Slaughter" committed in the city.
Exactly one year ago, on this day, five young students were violently stabbed to death during a party held in commemoration of the end of the academic year at a residence in Brentwood area in the northeast part of the city.
Violent crimes were committed by Matthew De Grood, who is a young man of 23 years old, law student at the University of Calgary, part time worker at Safeway supermarket, without any previous police records before the assault of April 15, 2014.
According to the police report, the attack occurred at 1:20 am in a house on Butler Crescent, where around thirty people attended the celebration. The aggressor, who was also a guest at the party, committed the attacks shortly after his arrival to this gathering.
According to witnesses, De Grood was seen with a large knife with which he attacked the victims one by one repeatedly and methodically. After this violent act, the attacker ran away, but police arrested him 40 minutes later with the help of the K-9.3 unit.
After the assault the victims were identified as:
- Kaitlin Perras 23 years
- Zackariah Rathwell 21 years
- Jordan Segura 22 years
- Joshua Hunter 23 years
- Hong Lawrence 27 years
Matthew De Grood, after his arrest, was taken to the Forensic Psychiatric Institute of Alberta, where he has been receiving mental and health treatment since then.
Overall it has been established that this news shocked the entire Calgary community not only because of the violence of the case but also because the father of the suspect is a known police inspector with 33 years of impeccable service in the police force.
Doug De Grood has an unblemished professional and personal career, according to his inner circle. He stated that his family is "consumed by grief and devastated" by the alleged actions of his son.
Calgary during those days was mourning, and there were series of meetings, memorials and mass funerals. The house that witnessed the slaughter despite being surrounded by police, was filled with flowers, toys, cards and candles in honor and recognition of the innocent victims.
Now after almost a year since March 6, 2015, Matthew de Grood has come back in the media spotlight, and he appeared in court at a hearing where it was announced of five counts of first-degree murder.
On this occasion his father and his lawyer Allan Fay accompanied him. Rumor has it, the courtroom was particularly saturated, because more than 70 people attended as listeners, and there even were people who could not enter because of the layout of the complex.
Only 13 witnesses who will be heard in two different audiences were presented. The Honorable Judge JD Holmes said the provincial court has gathered sufficient information and evidence to begin the trial. Although evidence had been collected long time ago, it was pending because of the preliminary assessment with regard to the physical and mental health of the former law student.
Final report determined that the defendant is able to attend his own audience. Now it is important to mention that during the process of this case, De Grood can be found "not guilty" of the crimes, if it’s possible to prove a mental disorder or insanity in which the subject was not sane at the time when committing the crimes.
Matthew de Grood case, was moved to the court of Queen Bench, where this coming May 29, 2015, the next hearing will be held.