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Matthew de Grood, Calgary Stabbings Suspect, Could Face Psychological Tests

04/16/2014 10:44 EDT | Updated 06/16/2014 05:59 EDT
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The 22-year-old man accused of stabbing five young people to death at a Calgary house party Tuesday will likely be remanded for a psychological assessment, police chief Rick Hanson tells CBC News.

Matthew de Grood has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of four men and a woman at a house in Brentwood in the city’s northwest.

De Grood had an initial meeting before a justice of the peace by telephone from his hospital bed, where he has been kept over concerns about the state of his mental health, sources told CBC News.

His next court date was set for April 22.

Hanson told CBC’s Calgary Eyeopener that investigators are continuing to comb through the crime scene, and are working to get access to any computers or phones de Grood may have used as they try to learn the motivation for the deadly attacks.

“There’s still lots of questions,” said Hanson.  “The question is always going to be why. Why did this happen.”

Investigators believe de Grood was an invited guest at the party to mark the end of university classes, and neither he nor the victims had any history with the police.  

De Grood’s father is a veteran officer with the rank of inspector in the Calgary Police Service, a fact that is making an already emotional case that much more difficult for investigators, Hanson said.

“When there’s an association with the police service, it does hit harder,” he said.

Hanson said Insp. Douglas de Grood and his wife will be forever haunted by the tragic killings.

“I can’t describe, I think, adequately the absolute devastation they feel,” he said. 

Because of the position with the police force of the suspect's father, it’s likely a Crown prosecutor will be brought in from Edmonton to handle the case, sources told CBC News.