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Man who killed his estranged wife outside school was facing domestic violence charges

Several police vehicles were parked in front of John Costello Catholic School on Tuesday morning. (Dan McGarvey/CBC - image credit)
Several police vehicles were parked in front of John Costello Catholic School on Tuesday morning. (Dan McGarvey/CBC - image credit)

The man who killed his estranged wife outside an elementary school Tuesday morning was facing criminal charges for domestic violence and was charged with twice violating a no-contact order, CBC News has learned.

On Tuesday, around 7:40 a.m., police were called to John Costello Catholic School, in the city's southwest, where they found a woman who'd been killed.

Later, the body of her husband was discovered nearby.

CBC News is not identifying the couple in order to protect their three young daughters.

Court documents show the two were in the process of divorcing.

The husband was first charged with a domestic violence offence in July 2023. He was released on bail on the condition he have no contact with his estranged wife or daughters unless permitted through a court order.

But he was charged with violating that release condition in September and again in November.

On the same day as the killing, warrants were issued for the man's arrest on charges of unlawfully harassing and stalking. Calgary police say the warrants were likely related to an earlier incident, not the homicide.

He was due in court Feb. 6.

In a statement, Calgary police said they would not be releasing the identity of the deceased, even post-autopsy, in order to protect the privacy of the family.

Calgary police duty inspector Scott Neilson speaks to reporters in Calgary Tuesday.
Calgary police duty inspector Scott Neilson speaks to reporters in Calgary Tuesday.

Calgary police Duty Insp. Scott Neilson speaks to reporters on Tuesday about the domestic homicide. (Jo Horwood/CBC)

At a Calgary police news conference Tuesday, Duty Insp. Scott Neilson said the woman was suffering from what appeared to be stab wounds.

Neilson added there were no indications that children witnessed the event, but he said there were a number of adult witnesses.

He said the victim had previously reached out to police and had been provided with court support, safety and planning.

"To have something like this happen … in front of the school. Obviously this is horrible," Neilson said.

The duty inspector said officers immediately flooded the scene to work with school administration and facilitate lockdowns at the elementary and a preschool.

Just before noon, Neilson said, the man was found dead nearby.

"This very much remains an active investigation with many moving parts," he said.

A statement from the Calgary Catholic School District said that, in response to the violent incident that happened before classes began, John Costello Catholic School would remain closed Tuesday but classes were anticipated to resume Wednesday.

"The Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) is praying for all those involved in a critical incident that happened this morning prior to the start of classes," the district said in a statement.

Police said the victim assistance support team is available for anyone who may have been affected by the incident.