Garson residents are reacting with shock to the news that an outdoor pit party ended in homicide early Thursday morning.
A 22-year-old man was stabbed to death and another man was injured at a party off Falconbridge Road in northeast Sudbury.
Police have charged Blake Lapierre, 18, of Sudbury, with first degree murder in connection with the stabbing. Lapierre is also charged with aggravated assault, possession of dangerous weapons and assault with a weapon. Those charges are related to the attack on the second victim, who was later released from hospital.
Police are not releasing the name of the deceased at this time, as requested by the man's family.
"[It was] probably a mile back and two miles that way," said area resident Ian Crawford as he pointed to sandy hills scattered with trees where pit parties are known to be held.
Crawford was standing in the parking lot at the Garson Arena, facing Falconbridge Road.
"Just a bunch of people getting together on Friday or Saturday night, and going back in the woods and having a bonfire," he said. Crawford has lived in the area for more than 40 years, and attended pit parties years ago. He said he's never heard of someone being stabbed at a party.
"[I was] stunned and horrified," he said. "I believe there were knives involved, and I've certainly never heard of anything like that either."
John Kavanagh, who lives nearby, did hear something early Thursday morning.
"I woke up and came upstairs, and could see the flashing in the windows," he said
What he saw were several police cruisers and ambulances responding to the two men who had been stabbed.
"At that kind of party anything can happen," Kavanagh said
Crawford isn't okay with that
"Perhaps pit parties could be finished," he said.