Hamilton police say an engaged couple embroiled in a landlord-tenant dispute were shot dead as they fled their attacker on Saturday and “are truly innocent victims.”
Sgt. Steve Bereziuk says a 27-year-old female educational assistant and a 28-year-old male electrician were shot dead just outside the home they shared in the neighbourhood of Stoney Creek. Their names have not been released.
Bereziuk says the 57-year-old suspect is a landlord who barricaded himself in the home for hours after the couple died while police negotiators tried to resolve the situation peacefully.
Bereziuk says he later fired shots from the home, prompting an unspecified interaction with city police.
The suspect ultimately died and his death is now being probed by the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario’s police watchdog.
Bereziuk says none of the people involved were known to police, a factor he says makes the situation a little more shocking.
“These are not people that this should happen to,” Bereziuk said of the victims on Sunday in a televised press conference from the scene.
“They’re not involved in any level of criminality or lifestyle that may lead to an incident like this. They are truly innocent victims, hardworking people, young people. They were engaged to be married. And this is a very tragic incident.”
Bereziuk says there were several registered handguns and rifles in the house. He said police expected to be on scene for much of the day.
The SIU is an independent civilian agency which investigates incidents in Ontario involving police that result in death or serious injury.