NEWS

Calgary stabbing victims' families and friends shattered, in shock

04/16/2014 01:59 EDT | Updated 06/16/2014 05:59 EDT
Many Calgarians are still reeling from the city's "worst-ever mass murder."

Lawrence Hong, Joshua Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell and ​Jordan Segura were all stabbed to death early Tuesday morning. 

Five first-degree murder charges have been laid against the sole suspect, Matthew de Grood. 

All six were at a house party in the northwest community of Brentwood to celebrate the last day of university classes. 

Barkley Hunter, Josh’s father, says the family, from Priddis, Alta., wants to tell his story, but is waiting for other family members to come to Calgary. 

“We are still in shock,” he said.

"We want people to know what a wonderful person Josh was."

Barkley Hunter said many of Josh`s friends were at the family home Tuesday, remembering him. 

The family, which includes Josh's little sister, is working to make funeral arrangements. 

Jennifer Laraway, a stepcousin of Perras, asked media for privacy. 

"The family is beyond shattered," wrote Laraway in an email.

"With your cooperation, the family will be able to grieve this senseless tragedy in private."

'We loved them more than anything in the world'

Former bandmates of Hunter and Rathwell, who were members of local band Zackariah and The Prophets, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night, expressing thanks for the outpouring of condolences they've received. 

"We didn't lose two band mates, we lost two brothers. Their shining shenanigans and shining light will always be with us. ZATP is done, because the band was all four of us. Without all four of us the band doesn't exist. We love you all. And we loved them more than anything in the world."

Jesse Northey produced Zackariah and The Prophets' latest album, Goodnight Icarus, at his recording studio in Lethbridge, Alta.

“It’s been really devastating. It’s kind of hard to know how to feel in a situation like this,” he said.

"I feel really weird. I haven't had very many people that I've known very well pass away. And so it breaks my heart. It is tragic and I really enjoyed their company and they were really, really good to me."

Mayor calls for kindness

In a post on Facebook, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi encouraged people to get help if they need it, and asked Calgarians to respond to each other with kindness and compassion. 

"We all might need a little more of that," he said.

Nenshi expressed condolences to friends and families of the "five young people who lost their lives so senselessly.

"It is natural to speculate when these types of events occur," the post reads. 

"We want to know what happened, who was involved, and why the outcome was so horrific. Those details will come out in time as my colleagues at the Calgary Police Service continue their investigation."

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