Blue Line

Police called to domestic incident ‘in days prior’ to mass shooting: Chief

October 26, 2023  By Kyle Darbyson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Oct. 26, 2023, Sudbury, Ont. – City police have been called to a domestic incident at one of the locations “in the days previous” to Monday’s mass shooting.

City police Chief Hugh Stevenson wouldn’t reveal details of the incident, nor would he confirm that there was another young person present who may have witnessed one of the incidents, calling it part of the ongoing investigation.

“Let the investigation take its due course and that information will come out,” Stevenson repeated during the 15-minute press conference held late Wednesday afternoon.

Five people are dead including three children – aged six, seven and 12 – an adult female and the accused shooter following a mass shooting said to be the result of intimate partner violence. The shootings took place in two locations – Tancred Street and Second Line West – on Monday evening.

The Sault Star has learned that the shooter in the incident is Bob Thomas Hallaert. He was separated from his ex-wife Kim Rose, who was shot in the incident on Second Line East and sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Her current condition remains unknown.

Hallaert also killed their three children at this residence.

Police later recovered two firearms, a long gun and handgun, from the premises and are in the process of determining how these weapons were used and how the shooter acquired them, Stevenson said.

The Star chatted with an acquaintance of the shooter on Tuesday, who revealed that the offender often took part in hunting/camping expeditions.

The first victim of Monday’s massacre is purported to be a girlfriend of Hallaert, who was shot and killed at a residence on Tancred Street. The Sault Star has not been able to confirm her identity, as of press time.

Hallaert was an employee at Algoma Steel.

Laura Devoni, director of corporate affairs and sustainability said in an email response to The Sault Star “we have counselling support available to our employees and stand by to offer further supports and resources needed.”

She wouldn’t comment on the identity of anyone involved given the ongoing investigation.

“We join with our community of Sault Ste. Marie in shock, grief and heartbreak today,” she said.

Rose is a former City of Sault Ste. Marie employee, who worked in the mayor’s office and on special contract for the economic development corporation between 2003-2010.

CAO Malcolm White said “city staff, along with the rest of the community were horrified to learn of the tragic events that occurred earlier this week. The senseless loss of life, especially of the children involved, deeply affects all of us. We offer our heartfelt condolences to those directly impacted by the tragedy, especially the children’s mother, and hope that we as a community can all provide the love and support that is needed at this time.”

Stevenson called the incident “a significant tragedy to this family, this community, this country.”

Intimate partner violence has been called an epidemic in Canada and Stevenson said he’s a firm supporter of that categorization if it heightens awareness of the issue. He’s also in favor of a commission in inquiry to raise awareness of the issue.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Stevenson questioned whether enough is being done as a society to educate young people, teach them to respect others and take care of each other or guide people to the services they may require.

Monday’s shooting originally began around 10:20 p.m., when 911 communications received a report of someone breaking into a residence in the 200 block of Tancred Street.

When officers arrived at the residence, they discovered a 41-year-old dead from a gunshot wound. The shooter had already fled the scene.

At roughly 10:30 p.m., 911 operators received word of another break-in taking place at a residence in the 200 block of Second Line East.

After officers arrived at the scene, they found a 45-year-old injured from a gunshot wound. The victim was rushed to hospital.

Upon entering the residence, officers located three other victims, aged six, seven and 12, all dead from gunshots.

Hallaert, the shooter was also located at this Second Line East residence dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In the aftermath of this shooting, Stevenson said “the grief the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims are facing is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to them. As our community grieves this tragedy, I urge everyone to please watch out for each other. If you are struggling, or if you see someone you know struggling, please make use of the mental health supports available in our community.”

– The Sudbury Star

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