A trauma response team is at a Spruce Grove middle school where two boys found slain Monday were enrolled.
Ryder MacDougall, 13, and Radek MacDougall, 11, were in Grades 8 and 6 at Greystone Centennial Middle School, according to the Parkland School Division.
“We’re just devastated. This is a tremendously traumatic time for our division, our school, and our community as a whole,” Parkland school board chair Eric Cameron said Tuesday morning.
RCMP said three people were found dead Monday morning inside a house in the Hilldowns neighbourhood of Spruce Grove. The boys’ stepfather Brent Stark has said their dad, Corry MacDougall, was the third person found dead and that the deaths are a murder-suicide.
“I’m going to say it as blunt as I can — that coward of a guy took the life of his two young boys and then himself,” Stark said.
“They were great kids. Lots of ambition, lots of charisma, loved sports. Life was a happy place for them.”
Police said an investigation is ongoing, and they are not seeking any suspects.
Mounties have not released any causes of death, and said autopsies were planned.
Tributes for the boys flooded social media websites Tuesday. Many people changed their Facebook profile picture to a graphic of a white heart with the letters “R &R” written in red boxes inside.
“You will be forever loved and missed by your Knights family Ryder & Radek. Rest easy our brothers. XOXO,” wrote the Canwest Knights AAA amateur hockey team on its Facebook page, alongside a picture of a boy holding a trophy.
People who knew the boys also put together a tribute page on Facebook, where people were posting poems and pictures.
Cameron, who represents Spruce Grove on the school board, said grief counsellors and any outside support professionals required will work with Greystone students and staff for as long as needed.
Tuesday’s goal was to keep school running as normally as possible, he said.
Both boys started at Greystone school this fall, and were new to the division, Cameron said.
With files from Stuart Thomson, Juris Graney, and Canadian Press