Canadian police say Valentine's Day mass shooting plot foiled

Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:06am EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police said on Friday they foiled a plot in which at least two people allegedly planned to commit a mass shooting in the East Coast province of Nova Scotia on Valentine's Day.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement the plot involved a 19-year-old man from Timberlea, Nova Scotia, and a 23-year-old woman from Geneva, Illinois.

Police said they obtained information that suggested the two had access to firearms and intended to go to a public venue in the Halifax, Nova Scotia, region on Feb. 14 to kill people, and then themselves.

The police statement did not suggest a possible motive, but officers told a media briefing they would not characterize it as a "terrorist event."

"I would classify it as a group of individuals that had some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens, but there's nothing in the investigation to classify it as a terrorist attack," said Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer Brian Brennan, according to CBC News.

"I can tell you that it's not culturally based."

Evidence suggested two other Nova Scotia males, aged 20 and 17, were involved, though their role is still to be determined, police said.

Police said they found the 19-year-old male dead at a residence early on Friday and the 20-year-old male and 23-year-old female were arrested at the Halifax airport. The 17-year-old male was arrested elsewhere.

"We believe we have apprehended all known individuals in this matter and eliminated the threat. We are not seeking any further suspects at this time," the statement said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Ken Wills and Lisa Shumaker)

 
A duplex home where a 19-year-old man was found dead is shown in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, February 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Darren Pittman