The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says three people are dead in a double murder-suicide.
Police confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the two shooting deaths in Manuels Tuesday night and the sudden death reported this morning on Kenmount Road were connected. Police said a 35-year-old-woman and 45-year-old man were killed at a doctor’s office at Villa Nova Plaza last night, but said they would not disclose the identity of either person now. “The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary does not believe that there is a public safety concern as this matter was not a random act,” reads the release. “The victims and the accused were known to one another.”
The police statement says a tentative idenfication has confirmed the “person of interest” arrived at through its investigation was found dead on Kenmount Road, and that the firearm believed used in the shooting has been confirmed.
••• Earlier story •••
The RNC has left the Anglican cemetery on Kenmount Road in St. John’s where there was a sudden death this morning.
A hearse pulled out of the cemetery, followed about 20 minutes later by a flatbed truck with a vehicle on it. The vehicle was covered in a tarp.
The RNC has not confirmed reports that the Anglican cemetery incident and the shooting last night at Villa Nova Plaza in C.B.S. are related. The C.B.S. shooting incident resulted in the deaths of two people, a man and a woman.
Three deaths, two investigations
Hearse arrives at Kenmount Road cemetery
As of 12:30 p.m., the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) continues to maintain a presence at the Anglican Cemetery off Kenmount Road in St. John's, where police responded shortly after 8:30 a.m.
The police have since confirmed a sudden death at the cemetery, but are not providing any further details at this point.
The graveyard is set back from the road and a police car parked at the main entrance, the roadside turnoff, has allowed only police vehicles and tow trucks from Avalon Towing to pass.
A hearse has just arrived.
In speaking to reporters at about 10:30 a.m., RNC Const. Talia Murphy refused to say at this point whether the person who has died at the graveyard is connected to the shooting last night at Villa Nova Plaza in C.B.S. That shooting resulted in the deaths of two people, a man and a woman.
In relation to the shooting, Murphy said police were able to identify a person of interest, known to the two individuals who were killed. With information obtained in the course of their investigation, the RNC went to a home in Chamberlains this morning.
Comments and photos shared amongst residents and onlookers on social media suggested a standoff at the home, but Murphy said there was no standoff. Officers with the RNC tactical unit were at the scene, something Murphy said may be easily misinterpreted by the public.
Public response to the shooting shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday and its aftermath has come swiftly, with people in the area now sharing their experiences. The Telegram has spoken with people in C.B.S. and will have more on that to come as our coverage continues.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Darin King issued a statement this morning congratulating the RNC on their response, offering condolences to the families and friends of the deceased in both cases now under investigation — the cemetery death and the shooting — and promising the RNC "will have access to any resources required to investigate this matter."
More to come.
UPDATE: Death at Kenmount Road cemetery; RNC says no standoff in C.B.S.
Tactical team was acting on tip related to shooting in C.B.S. Tuesday night
The Telegram has been told by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary that there was no standoff this morning in Conception Bay South.
However, residents in the town witnessed members of the RNC tactical team surrounding a home on Chaytor's Road in Chamberlains, as shown in the submitted photos on our website.
The RNC says it was acting on a tip related to the shooting investigation. The presence of its tactical team might have caused confusion among residents who assumed there was a standoff.
The RNC is also not saying there is any connection between a death at the Anglican Cemetery on Kenmount Road this morning and the shooting of two people last night at Villa Nova Plaza in Long Pond.
"The RNC responded to C.B.S. and the RNC responded to Kenmount Road,"said Const. Talia Murphy, the RNC's media relations officer. The shooter and two people who died last night knew each other, but there's no confirmation that the death at the cemetery is connected.
The RNC says it will provide an update to the media later today.
The Telegram will have more as the story unfolds.
There are new reports of a sudden death at the Anglican Cemetery on Kenmount Road.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has the entrance to the cemetery blocked off.
Media reports are indicating that it is connected to the shooting incident last night that killed two people in Conception Bay South.
There are also reports that all three people knew each other.
Social media has lit up this morning with reports of shots fired and a standoff with police in Conception Bay South.
The suggestion has been the standoff is resolved, but The Telegram has yet to confirm the statements.
Reporters following the story and will have more as it unfolds.
As of shortly before 9 a.m., there has been no confirmation the reported standoff is related to a shooting at Villa Nova Plaza in Manuels last night that resulted in two deaths. More on that story can be found here.
..... Earlier story •••
By Daniel MacEachern
Police were combing Conception Bay South on Tuesday night after two people were shot dead at Villa Nova Plaza in Manuels.
Const. Talia Murphy of the RNC confirmed the deaths late Tuesday night, adding that police would not be providing specifics about the deceased yet, and have not confirmed their identities. Murphy told reporters on the scene that police didn’t have a suspect in custody, and couldn’t say how many people were involved or what the motive was. Police are expected to provide an update Wednesday morning.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary received a report just after 7 p.m. of shots being fired at the strip mall. The RNC evacuated the businesses, apart from anyone who may have witnessed the shooting, as well as sections of Manuels while hunting for the person or people responsible. Shortly after the shooting, the Rovers search and rescue mobile unit arrived on the scene. Police were directing traffic away from the scene of the shooting, and advising residents to stay home with their doors locked.
“We’re trying to gather whatever information we can from witnesses who may have been in the area around the time of the incident,” Murphy told reporters shortly after the shooting. Although the RNC wouldn’t confirm the specific location of the shooting, Dr. Eslier Aguilar, owner of the Villa Nova Medical Clinic, told the Telegram in C.B.S. he’d received a call from a friend telling him the shooting happened at his clinic and that two people were hurt.
“I’m just worried about my staff and of course my patients, too. My secretary, and my colleague,” he said. Reached at home hours after the shooting, Aguilar said he’d been unable to speak to his staff yet. “I tried to contact them, but I was told they were held for interrogation,” he said, adding that despite media reports he wasn’t told that two people were killed. “Nobody told me that. I heard that from you guys, from the media. … The police haven’t talked to me at all.”
C.B.S. residents were anxious to get home but found themselves taking lengthy detours with a stretch of the Conception Bay South highway blocked off for several hours.
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The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had little information to share late Tuesday, but confirmed it had received a report just after 7 p.m. of shots being fired at the strip mall. Police would not confirm how many shots were fired or if anyone was hit, despite ambulances being seen leaving the scene, or reports by VOCM of two people being killed.
The RNC evacuated the businesses, apart from anyone who may have witnessed the shooting, as well as sections of Manuels. Const. Talia Murphy of the RNC said police didn’t have a suspect in custody, and couldn’t say how many people were involved or what the motive was. Shortly after the shooting, the Rovers search and rescue mobile unit arrived on the scene. Police were directing traffic away from the scene of the shooting, and advising residents to stay home with their doors locked.
“We’re trying to gather whatever information we can from witnesses who may have been in the area around the time of the incident,” Murphy told reporters. “At this time we’re not discussing any potential injuries that may have occurred, as it is the preliminary stages, and we don’t want to rush to any judgments or conclusions at this time.”
Although the RNC wouldn’t confirm the specific location of the shooting, Dr. Eslier Aguilar, owner of the Villa Nova Medical Clinic, told the Telegram he’d received a call from a friend telling him the shooting happened at his clinic and that two people were hurt.
“I’m just worried about my staff and of course my patients too. My secretary, and my colleague,” he said.
Manuels resident Laura Mason was stuck behind a police blockade at the northwest end of the Manuels access road, anxious to get home where her 14-year-old son was home alone.
RNC Const. Talia Murphy spoke with the media at the scene and confirmed there had been gunshots in the area, but would not say how many there were or if there were any injuries.
The RNC was called at 7:10 p.m. Murphy said the Villa Nova Plaza was evacuated, except for witnesses.
No one is in custody in relation to the shooting, Murphy said, and the RNC is looking for a suspeect or suspects, although no details about the shooter(s), except that there could be multiple, were given. The motive is unclear at this point.
The RNC is advising residents to lock their doors and stay in their homes unless it is absolutely necessary to leave.
Dr. Eslier Gamu Aguilar, owner of the Villa Nova Medical Clinic, who was not at work at the time, told The Telegram he received a call from staff at the clinic saying there had been a shooting and two people were hurt.
Manuels resident Laura Mason, who like many others in the area was stuck in traffic, said her 14-year-old son had called her at work. He said he had heard a couple of gunshots and he was scared. She told him to lock the doors and left to go home.
The Town of Conception Bay South (@TownofCBS) tweeted shortly after 8:30 p.m.: "The Conception Bay Highway is currently closed from Manuels Bridge to Monument Road. Residents are advised to avoid this area temporarily."
The Telegram is following the story and will report as soon as details are available.
The original story has been edited
A related video can be viewed HERE.