A remote northern Quebec community is reeling after a fatal police shooting brought an end to a series of stabbings that left three residents dead and critically injured two others.
Kativik Regional Police responded to a call Saturday morning in Akulivik, a village of fewer than 1,000 people located on the shores of the Hudson Bay, 1,700 kilometres from Montreal.
A 19-year-old man — who local officials identified as Illutak Anautak — is suspected of having committed three break-ins during which he stabbed five people. Among the fatalities is a child believed to be around 10 years old.
Quebec’s independent investigations bureau (BEI), which investigates police-involved shootings, said local officers located the suspect as he was trying to break into a fourth home in the small village.
Police shot the suspect first in an effort to neutralize him. They shot again, this time fatally, when the suspect moved towards the officers, according to a news release issued by the BEI.
Anautak’s brother, who lives several hours away, told CBC News that he learned of the events from a friend over Facebook.
“My reaction? I started crying this morning because I lost my brother, for a second time,” said 16-year-old Moses Chamberland Inukpuk.
Inukpuk had another brother who died before he was born. He added that their mother was murdered.
Though they lived several hundred kilometres apart, the two brothers kept in regular contact over Facebook.
“I was really close to him,” said Inukpuk.
Inukpuk shared with CBC Montreal two Facebook posts that Anautak wrote around the time of the incident.
In the first post Anautak writes “I just don’t care if I killed someone else,” and in a later post he says that he stabbed more than five people.
Timothy Aliqu, a village councillor, described Anautak as being “like every other teenager” in the small Inuit community.
“Our town is devastated,” said Aliqu. “Some people saw what was going on.”
A team of investigators has been dispatched to Akulivik by the BEI. They are expected to arrive Saturday evening.
Quebec provincial police will take over the investigation into the stabbings.