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Investigation focused on where Sault murderer got his weapons, police chief says

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The chief of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is assuring the public that a thorough investigation is ongoing into the Oct. 23 mass shooting in the city.

Since the investigation is centred on the firearms used in the shooting, Chief Hugh Stevenson said it will take some time to determine how the shooter came to possess the guns.

After the shooting, which claimed the lives of four people – including three children – investigators seized two firearms from a home on Second Line East – a rifle and a handgun.

Stevenson said police are attempting to trace the weapons' origins.

"Firearm investigations are very complex," he said.

"They deal with data over a number of years. For example, a lot of these firearms could have been in the public before the Firearms Registry was out. So, yes, they're complex, they're multi-jurisdictional and they take time."

Stevenson said every firearm has a history – some have an extensive and checkered past.

"It's patching together that history to show where they were at certain times," he said.

"And there's always gaps in those investigations, which we have to figure out. And sometimes you'll never know. But we're doing everything possible to shut all avenues so this is a complete and thorough investigation."

Police say the shooter, Bobbie Hallaert, 44, who took his own life, did not have a licence for the guns he used in the shooting. As investigators attempt to pinpoint how and when the weapons were obtained, Stevenson is urging the public to look after one another.

"My message for the public is this is a time of healing, this is a time of support, this is a time of making sure that we check (on) each other." 

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