Matthew de Grood broke his silence on Wednesday, for the first time since he fatally stabbed five young Calgarians as they celebrated the end of university classes.
Lawrence Hong, 27, was killed along with Joshua Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, Zackariah Rathwell, 21, and Jordan Segura, 22, in April 2014.
In the moments after Justice Eric Macklin issued his decision, finding de Grood not criminally responsible for the killings because he was in a psychotic state and not able to appreciate the moral wrongness of his actions, the now 24-year-old issued a statement, read by his lawyer, Allan Fay.
Matthew de Grood's full statement
I realize that through my illness I have done something horrible and ultimately wrong. I take responsibility for these deaths and I acknowledge the immense suffering I have caused.
The victims never deserved to die. In my mental illness I believed things that were untrue which left me to hurt innocent and good people. You, their families never deserved the loss and heartache. I know my actions have caused irreparable harm and damage to the families involved, including my own. I am truly and deeply sorry for this. I never intended for anything like this to happen. I feel the sorrow I have caused and will carry it for the rest of my life.
My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I cannot apologize enough for your losses and I deeply regret that your loved ones aren't with you anymore. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart.
In light of this, I will take responsibility for my illness so nothing like this ever occurs again. I will control it by faithfully taking my medication and managing potential stressors. I will follow doctor's orders for the rest of my life.
I want to make amends for this. I am not asking for your forgiveness but I hope you are able to understand that I am truly sorry for what I've done and I will work to regain the trust of society.
The final words said in the courtroom were from Macklin who praised the lawyers' professional and sensitive conduct, acknowledged the anguish suffered by the victims' families and then addressed the de Groods.
"It is not lost on this court how difficult these events have been and continue to be for the family of Matthew de Grood," said Macklin.
"Matthew, Dr. Choy spoke of the treatment team that you'll be provided and their considerable expertise and efforts to treat you and to rehabilitate you for the possible safe reintegration into society."
"I wish you good luck."
'Today is not the end of this tragic nightmare'
Outside of court, Doug de Grood expressed his support for his son and his sympathy for the victims' families.
"We will continue to walk by our son's side as together we travel the long and painful road ahead of us," said Doug de Grood.
"Today is not the end of this tragic nightmare. We live it every day. We will continue to live it every day for the rest of our lives."
"As we move forward we will continue to keep the victims and their families in our prayers and hope that time will eventually begin to heal their pain and suffering."
De Grood has been sent to the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary and will go before the Alberta Review Board within 90 days so they can assess him and his treatment plan.