Stabbing victims in northern Quebec town were family members: officials
Published Saturday, June 10, 2017 3:06PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 12, 2017 7:09PM EDT
A man was shot and killed by police in the northern community of Akulivik after a stabbing spree left three family members dead and two others injured.
Among the dead is a 12-year-old child.
A former community leader confirmed to CTV Montreal that the perpetrator was 19-year-old Illutak Anautak.
On Monday officials confirmed initial reports that the victims were Anautak's uncle Lucassie Anautak, 36, 12-year-old cousin Patulik Anautak, and Eli Qinuajuak, 32, who is married to one of Illutak's aunts.
Officials said that the two hospitalized victims were stable and expected to survive.
Quebec’s Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) is taking over the investigation with technical support from the Sureté du Quebec. The BEI is involved in all cases in the province where someone is shot by a police officer.
According to the BEI, the suspect broke into three homes in the remote community early Saturday morning. Police intercepted Anautak as he was trying to break into a fourth home.
He was then allegedly shot once by police in an attempt to stop him from entering the home, and a second time when he came towards officers.
A spokesman for the Kativik Regional Police force confirmed that its officers were the ones who responded to the incident.
"The KRPF officers neutralized the suspect at their arrival on the scene," Jean-Philippe Dubois said in an email, adding the force wouldn't comment further since the event is under investigation.
There is no word on what may have motivated the spree.
Anautak is being described as a quiet young man lost his mother in 2014 when she was killed by a boyfriend. There are reports that his older brother took his own life several years ago.
There are concerns that Anautak may not have received enough mental health support to help him with his losses.
“People that need specialized services, as soon as they see someone at the CLSC, their needs are assessed and they can be referred to different mental health services,” said Fabien Pernet of the Nunavik Regional Health Board.
Makivik, an organization representing Quebec's Inuit, commented: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the incomprehensible tragedy in this beautiful community. Things like this are not supposed to happen in our society. All of Nunavik is in mourning. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and people of this close-knit village.”
Eight BEI investigators arrived on-scene in the fishing village on Saturday evening, as well as two investigators from the SQ who will investigate the stabbings.
Akulivik, located approximately 1,700 km from Montreal, is home to just over 600 people.
Niali Aliqu, a 69-year-old woman from the community, said she heard screaming coming from her neighbour's home and she later learned he was one of the stabbing victims. "
"I looked out the window and I could see the police aiming at the person who stabbed the people and a few minutes later I saw the person was all bloody," she said.
"Everything went so fast," Aliqu told CTV Montreal. "I was shaken up."
Soon after, a few houses down, Aliqu said she witnessed the confrontation between police and the perpetrator.
Another man, estimated to be in his 30's, was put on a four-wheeler and transported to the local health center.
Locals in the area are shaken, not knowing what drove the 19-year-old on his rampage. Aliqu believes that only a deep-rooted anger could drive someone in this type of attack.
"All I know is [the victims] were just like us-- just quiet," Aliqu said.
"We didn't know this was going to happen."
Native Affairs Minister Geoff Kelley said the province has sent people to the village to assist.
"We've created a crisis team and a group of psycho-social intervenors have gone up, so we're going to try to lend a hand," said Kelley.