Double homicide shocks quiet Newfoundland community
JANE TABER - ATLANTIC BUREAU CHIEF
Halifax — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 16 2013, 8:35 AM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 16 2013, 11:58 AM EDT
Conception Bay South, Nfld., is a suburb of St. John’s that is described by one resident as a town so quiet people don’t even let their dogs bark after 11 p.m.
That changed Tuesday night when news of a double fatal shooting at a doctor’s clinic in a local strip mall spread like wildfire on social media, radio and television through the community of about 27,000.
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Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers told residents to stay in their homes and lock their doors. The three local schools were closed Wednesday morning as police searched for the perpetrator.
“I still have my door locked but I’m not as scared as I was last night,” Phyllis Bishop, who lives about a kilometre away from where the incident occurred, told The Globe in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Mrs. Bishop was out playing cards last night when she heard that two people were dead after a shooting incident. She’s lived in the community for 26 years and other than a few break-ins there has been nothing like this.
The RNC confirmed Wednesday that the deceased are a man and a woman and that police believe the shooter has been identified. They would not reveal their names or ages.
RNC Constable Talia Murphy said police first were called just after 7 p.m. Tuesday. The search continued overnight. Wednesday morning, police had surrounded a home in the community and then at 8:30 a.m. they received a call about a sudden death. A body was found at a cemetery in St. John’s.
Cst. Murphy would not say if that death is related to earlier incident. But the schools are now opened in the area and residents report that police presence has lessened.
The double homicide is believed to have taken place at a doctor’s clinic at the Villa Nova Plaza in Conception Bay South.
Dr. Eslier Aguilar, who has the general family practice, told The Globe that he was called by friends who work in the area about the incident. He said at first he believed it had happened in the parking lot but was told “it did happen in my clinic.” He wasn’t there at the time. He wasn’t allowed to go to his clinic Wednesday morning as police were still investigating.
Conception Bay South Mayor Ken McDonald said he and his council were holding their regular public meeting Tuesday night at their town hall, which is very close to the plaza. He said the fire chief came in to tell them there was a shooting and to stay in the building until further notice.
Mayor McDonald said that about 20 minutes later they were told they could leave.
“I think shock was probably one of the bigger reactions because again it’s not something…