CALGARY – Calgary police say seven people were shot, leaving two of them in life-threatening condition, after gunfire broke out early this morning at a New Year’s Eve house party.
“All I heard was like this ‘pop, pop, pop, pop.’ I was half asleep, half awake, and that’s all I heard, and I didn’t really know what it was so I just went back to sleep,” said Nita Nestman, who lives in a condo on the same street.
Nestman said the street had been quiet for most of the evening. When she heard the noise she didn’t expect it to be gunfire.
“I was like, ‘What the heck is that noise? Tires popping?'” she said.
“It didn’t even enter my mind that’s what it was.”
Det. Steve Adair says police received multiple 911 calls just after 5 a.m. reporting gunshots fired and that by the time officers arrived, the suspect or suspects had already left the scene.
Responding officers located five people in and around the house with gunshot wounds and Adair says two other people later showed up at local hospitals for treatment.
He says that aside from the two in life-threatening condition, the other victims’ injuries are minor to serious.
The street in the tree-lined neighbourhood was blocked off by police tape on Thursday morning. A heavy police presence was visible on both ends of the block.
A black sweater was lying on the sidewalk in front of what appeared to be a newly built townhouse. Snow in the front yard was trampled. The home, which had a huge pine tree in front of it, was not readily visible.
Adair says more than 50 people were at the house party and police are questioning about a dozen witnesses who were taken away from the scene on a city transit bus.
He says police don’t yet have a description or know the number of suspects and that investigators “are not getting a great deal of co-operation” from witnesses.
Police have sealed off the scene and the forensics team has been called in to look for evidence, Adair said.
He said police were to provide an update on the investigation at an afternoon news conference.
Abdul Rasham el Kadri, who has lived on the street since 1990, said he was asleep when the incident happened and heard nothing.
He called it a really nice neighbourhood.
“I know almost all my neighbours here and they know me and it’s a beautiful neighbourhood,” said el Kadri.
“I was really surprised when I heard this.”
El Kadri said the street, which is a combination of older homes and freshly built townhouses, has never had a problem with loud parties, crime or violence.
“Never. Never,” he said. “This is the first time something happened like that.”
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