Details of the four family members who were killed early Friday morning while in their Oshawa home by an “uninvited” relative have emerged. Durham Regional Police established in a news release on Sunday that 50-year-old Chris Traynor and his children –11-year-old Joseph, 20-year-old Bradley, and 15-year-old Adelaide were shot dead. Police also indicated that their neighbor identified as Loretta Traynor, a 50-year-old woman and the mother of the three children, was seriously injured in the attack and is recuperating in hospital.
Co-workers and Neighbours said the husband and wife were teachers at Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB). On Saturday, a close family friend reported that at the time of the shooting, their only surviving son, Sam, was away at university. After numerous residents phoned police to report gunshots and screaming coming from a home, officers were called to a house on Parklane Avenue, near Harmony Road North and King Street East at around 1:20 AM on Friday.
Several officers and members of the tactical unit rushed to the area. They could hear gunshots coming from the home when they arrived on the scene. Later, they discovered the bodies of the four members of the Traynor family and the suspected gunman, later identified as 48-year-old Winnipeg resident Mitchell Lapa. The gunman was found dead inside the house after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said Lapa’s white Ford pickup truck was seen parked in front of the residence early Friday morning and was an “uninvited person” at the house. It is believed that Lapa was Loretta’s brother.
The police are still investigating the motive for the shooting.
Several parents and students gathered to pay tribute to the family outside St. Albert Love Catholic School, where Joseph attended classes. Several laid flowers outside the school, wrote messages like “you will be missed” in chalk, “you’ll always be in our hearts,” and “rest in love.” The flag was raised at half-post. In response to the tragic event, the DCDSB’s Director of Education, Tracy Barill, said he would offer support for students.
His statement reads, “Words cannot adequately express our profound shock and deep sorrow over this terrible event. On behalf of the Durham Catholic District School Board, I extend our prayers and most sincere sympathies to all who have been directly or indirectly impacted by what has occurred. We work in cooperation with our partners at the Durham Regional Police Service, who continue to investigate the situation.”
Carolina de Kock, whose son Fernando is close friends with Joseph, said she could not even imagine that the incident happened. She added that they couldn’t even believe it. De Kock said they had planned that Joseph would go to their house last Thursday for a play date. However, the bad weather made it to be canceled. Her son Fernando recalled his friend as one of the smartest students in school and always made everyone’s day and was also very active in sports.
Joseph’s father, Chris, was the team’s base running coach. Kevin Babcock, the national president of Baseball Oshawa, stated that the 50-year-old father was a great mentor to many young players. Babcock said Chris was always energetic, had a high level of energy, which was passed on to the kids he coached. Babcock added that the number of people they knew was one of the most challenging things as it would impact more people than they thought. Baseball Oshawa, Chris’s other sons, said that Sam and Bradley also played with the organization.