Latasha Gosling and her 3 young children slain in Tisdale, Sask.
Online campaign to help with expenses growing
"I'm feeling very sick to my stomach," Lorna Townsend, a neighbour to the slain family, told CBC News. "[I'm] very devastated for the families left behind that have to deal with this. It'll never go away."
Police have not released the names, but family members confirmed the woman who died is Latasha Gosling, 27. Her children include two girls, Janayah, 4, and Jenika, 8, and a boy, Landen, 7, who have the same surname. The name of the suspect has not been released.
Patricia Olson, who runs the Bee Hive Hotel in Tisdale, said people are shocked by what happened.
"We're all in shock," Olson said Wednesday. "It's a small community so of course it affects everyone."
"I have rooms available for family and we'll definitely make sure that they have food and everything," she said.
Earlier on Wednesday a fundraising campaign, launched on GoFundMe.com, quickly surpassed a goal of $5,000 to support various expenses the family will face. Within two days the site had almost $37,000 committed. A new goal of $50,000 has been set.
"I think this is great," Olson said of the support being shown. "This just goes to show that our town has a very big heart."
Several other businesses in the town of about 3,200 people were also donating money and, in some cases, food, to help the family. The online fundraising also attracted support from beyond Tisdale.
Help for school-aged children
Local school officials sent a special response unit to Tisdale to help students and staff cope with the tragic news.
"Because of the young age of the children in this case, there's going to be a lot of confusion and they won't have a strong sense on the finality of death," Don Rempel, director of education for the North East School Division, told CBC News Wednesday.
The team is reaching out to the parents of classmates and the homerooms of the victims as well as school staff.
Rempel said because the children are elementary-school aged, the teachers need to be prepared to have age-appropriate discussions with the young students.
Tisdale is about 211 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.