OSHAWA, ON – A gunman killed four of his relatives before taking his own life in a early Friday morning shooting at a home in Ontario east of Toronto, Canadian authorities said.
Police said Michael Lapa, 48, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the sole shooter and died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A police statement said he was a relative of the family living at the residence in Oshawa, Ontario.
Investigators said Lapa was an “uninvited person” to the home and the homicide unit was still investigating the motive behind the shooting.
Police were seen towing away a pickup truck registered to Lapa with Manitoba licence plates, which some neighbors said they hadn’t seen parked at the residence in the past.
Multiple calls came in around 1:20 a.m. reporting the sound of gunshots from the home.
Constable George Tudos said the dead included four men and one woman — two of them under 18. He said officers also found a 50-year-old woman in the house with a gunshot wound and she was taken to a hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Liz McIntosh, who lives next door to the family, said she woke up to the sound of gunshots and screams, and then saw police approach the property with guns drawn.
"It’s horrible. You never would think that this could happen, especially this neighborhood. It’s very quiet,″ she said, noting that most families have lived there for years.
``This is a very peaceful neighborhood,″ said her husband, Cliff Chow. ``Most of the time we don’t lock the doors.″
McIntosh said she heard the shots ring out over a period of 20 or 30 minutes.
"I feel awful for this family, how heartbreaking. It’s just horrible,″ she said, adding she was also afraid for herself.
"I didn’t know when it was going on if there was a shooter running around the neighborhood trying to hide, maybe they would come kick through our door?″
Carol Gibson, who lives down the street, said she was startled awake by the incident.
"The first shot woke me up, and then I heard about four or five more after that,″ Gibson said. “Then a woman screamed and there were two shots after that.”
Gibson said she had known the family in the house for around 20 years.
“They were a family that cared for each other quite a bit,” said Gibson. "If they weren’t playing baseball, hockey or shooting hoops on the driveway, they were out raking leaves and they did it as a family. A very caring family.″
Rob Mitchell, another neighbor, described them as kind and outgoing.
“They are very very involved with their kids and what they are doing in the community. It definitely doesn’t make any sense at all," Mitchell said.