CALGARY — A “domestic dispute” led to the death of two Calgary children Friday night, police say.
Officers responded to a 911 call from the home in northwest Calgary and when there was no answer to knocks or the doorbell they forced their way inside.
The first thing the investigators found was the body of a 13-year-old boy.
“The officers continued searching and came upon a man and a woman in the upstairs portion of the home,” Police Chief Rick Hanson said Saturday. “Both were involved in a physical struggle and officers immediately intervened.
“It is our firm belief that the rapid intervention of our officers interruped a potential homicide.”
Hanson said a subsequent search found the body of the boy’s nine-year-old sister. The mother of the two children was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries while their father was taken into custody.
“We believe these were domestic-related homicides and we’re not looking for anyone else in connection with this case,” Hanson said.
No charges have been laid but he confirmed that the family was not known to Calgary Police.
Calgary was hit by a fast-moving snow storm Friday afternoon, which reduced visibility to near zero, and coated streets with a layer of snow and ice. Roads were closed and police were swamped with emergency calls.
The fact his officers were able to respond so quickly was a source of pride for Hanson.
“From the time this call came in to the time our officers forced their way into the house was approxmiately 16 minutes,” he explained.
“To make the decision to do a rapid intervention and to wind up saving somebody’s life is an exceptional piece of work on the part of our officers.”
The 911 call was placed by the woman police found fighting with the man.
She made the call immediately after arriving home, said Insp. Guy Slater from the Calgary Major Crimes Unit.
He said investigators are hoping she can shed more light on what happened.
“We’re taking a significant degree of sensitivity around this matter. We are talking through intermediaries to understand what had happened in the moments leading up to her arrival at the house,” he said.
The case has some similarities to a horrifying case of domestic violence in Calgary in May, 2008.
Joshua Lall fatally stabbed his wife Alison, their three and five-year-old girls and downstairs tenant, Amber Bowerman, before turning the knife on himself.
The couple’s one-year-old baby, Anna, was inexplicably found unharmed in her crib and is being raised by a relative.
“Obviously when we look at these things we draw the parallel,” admitted Hanson.
“In this case, due to the rapid intervention of police officers we have someone in custody, we have the person responsible. We’ll be able to find out the motivation hopefully,” said Hanson, who added the problem of domestic violence never seems to go away.
“I wish we had the answer.”