CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick (AP) — A python escaped from its enclosure at a pet store in Canada, slithered through a ventilation system into an upstairs apartment and killed two young boys as they slept, police said Monday.
The boys, ages five and seven, were visiting the apartment of a friend above Reptile Ocean Inc., an exotic pet store in Campbellton, New Brunswick, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh.
Police arrived at the apartment around 6:30 a.m. and found the two boys dead. A friend of the boys was sleeping in another room and was unharmed, Rogers-Marsh said. She said the owner of the pet store lived in the apartment.
Rogers-Marsh said the snake escaped from its enclosure sometime during the night and was believed to have made its way into the apartment through the ventilation system.
"It's believed the two boys were strangled by the snake," she said.
The snake was captured and is in the possession of police, Rogers-Marsh said. Calls to the pet store were not returned Monday.
Rogers-Marsh said autopsies were to be performed on the two victims on Tuesday. She couldn't confirm whether the two boys were related.
"It's very, very unusual and very tragic and difficult for everyone involved," Rogers-Marsh said.
The town's deputy mayor, Ian Comeau, said Reptile Ocean was licensed to operate and "everything was according to our bylaws, to the provincial guidelines."
The deaths of the boys have been "a shock ... it is unbelievable," Comeau said Monday evening. Comeau said he saw alligators, crocodiles and snakes when he toured the shop with the fire department about two years ago.
Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.
A St. Louis judge will be honored by the U.S. Supreme Court for his work in juvenile justice. Judge Jimmie Edwards will be the 2013 recipient of the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. Chief Justice John Roberts will present the award in Washington on November 21st.
Judge Edward has been the driving force behind the Innovative Concept Academy. The five year old school is credited with turning troubled youths into academic successes and productive members of the community.
Edwards has been on the St. Louis Circuit Court bench since 1992, serving as Chief Juvenile Court Judge for five years.
A triple shooting just blocks away from a neighborhood crime summit Monday night is reinforcing the message that residents and police have to work together to combat violence in the City of St. Louis.
Police Chief Sam Dotson was on his way to the summit hosted by Better Family Life when he was called to the 4500 block of Evans where two men and a woman were shot.
Chief Dotson says there were several people outside in the area when a lone gunman approached the porch of a home and opened fire, but some of the witnesses aren't cooperating. "So it makes it very hard when we come to a scene, when we have information that we're looking for, and even family members aren't cooperating," Dotson said.
Cooperation was the message at the crime summit attended by the Chief, Mayor Francis Slay and about 200 residents. Better Family Life founder Malik Ahmed was cheered when he told the crowd that regular citizens need to get involved in order to bring peace to the streets. "Our community cannot afford to have a negative relationship with the police," Ahmed said.