A young Canadian couple who were reportedly soon to be married were shot dead by their landlord over a tenancy dispute before the suspect barricaded himself in the house and died in a shootout with police, authorities said.
Officers were initially called to a home in the Stoney Creek district of Hamilton, Ontario, about 42 miles from Toronto, at around 5:40 p.m. ET on Saturday over reports of gunshots, the Hamilton Police Service said in a news release.
When they arrived, they found the bodies of a 27-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man who had been fatally shot, police said.
Officers determined that the two had been living at the home as tenants and that they had been shot by their landlord in a “landlord-tenant dispute,” police said.
“The early indication on that is it sounds like there was some type of dispute regarding the state of the home,” Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk told reporters, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The couple, an educational assistant and an electrician, were engaged to be married, according to the broadcaster. Their identities have yet to be publicly released. Bereziuk said the pair were “truly innocent victims.”
The landlord, a 57-year-old man, barricaded himself inside the residence with firearms that were registered to him, Hamilton police said.
An emergency response unit contained the area while negotiators tried to resolve the incident in what appears to have been an hourslong standoff.
At one point during the negotiations, the suspect fired at a police armored vehicle before later firing additional rounds, which “resulted in an interaction with police,” authorities said.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which investigates the conduct of law enforcement officials involved in serious incidents, said the suspect was fatally shot during an exchange of gunfire with police. He was fatally shot at around 10 p.m., just over four hours after officers initially responded to the incident, the unit said in a news release.
The 57-year-old, who has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene, the special investigations unit said.
The unit said a team of 10 investigators had been assigned to the case.
Police said families of both the victims had been notified of the couple’s death.
The families, Bereziuk said, “are extremely upset.”
“As you can well imagine, these are not people that this should happen to,” Bereziuk said. “They’re not involved in any level of criminality or lifestyle that may lead to an incident like this.”
“I’d like to express my condolences and concern over this weekend’s double-homicide in Stoney Creek,” Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath said in a tweet. “I am very saddened to hear about this senseless tragedy and my heart goes out to the families of the victims.”
Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com