A young Canadian couple who were reportedly soon to be married were shot dead by their landlord before the suspect barricaded himself in the house and died in a shootout with police, authorities said.
Officers were initially called to a home in the Stoney Creek district of Hamilton, Ontario, about 42 miles from Toronto, around 5:40 p.m. Saturday over reports of gunshots, the Hamilton Police Service said in a news release.
When they arrived, they found a 27-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man had been fatally shot, police said.
Officers determined the two had been living at the home as tenants and had been shot in a “landlord-tenant dispute,” police said.
“The early indication on that is it sounds like there was some type of dispute regarding the state of the home,” Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk told reporters, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The couple, an educational assistant and an electrician, were engaged, according to the broadcaster. Their identities have not been publicly released. Bereziuk said the pair were “truly innocent victims.”
The landlord, a 57-year-old man, barricaded himself inside the residence with firearms that were registered to him, Hamilton police said.
An emergency response unit contained the area while negotiators tried to resolve the situation in what appears to have been an hourslong standoff.
At one point during the negotiations, the suspect fired at a police armored vehicle before later firing additional rounds, which “resulted in an interaction with police,” authorities said.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which investigates the conduct of law enforcement officials involved in serious incidents, said the suspect was fatally shot during an exchange of gunfire with police. He was fatally shot around 10 p.m., just over four hours after officers initially responded, the unit said in a news release.
The 57-year-old, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene, the unit said.
Police said the victims’ families had been notified and “are extremely upset.”
“As you can well imagine, these are not people that this should happen to,” Bereziuk said. “They’re not involved in any level of criminality or lifestyle that may lead to an incident like this.”