Victim of Calgary stabbing didn't die alone, mourners told
Published Monday, April 21, 2014 6:18AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 21, 2014 8:37PM EDT
Family and friends gathered Monday to remember the lives of three of the five young people who were killed following a mass stabbing at a Calgary house party.
The uncle of Kaiti Perras, the only woman to be killed in last week's stabbings, described the 23-year-old as a "tiny girl with such huge courage."
"She fiercely loved her family, even though she struggled to show it," Galen Perras told mourners.
Purple balloons were released in the air as Perras' casket was carried away.
The family of Perras encouraged mourners to wear colourful attire to her service to honour her love of fashion. They've also established a dance scholarship in her memory. Donations to the "Kaiti Perras Love of Dance Scholarship Fund" can be made at any TD bank. Donors can also send email transfers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Segura was also remembered during a funeral service Monday, where more than 300 mourners were told that the 22-year-old died surrounded by people who loved him.
"Myself and a couple of friends were with him right at the end and I want you all to know that Jordan was not alone," Jayda Shreenan said during the service. "I look out and see all of these people who just loved him so, so much. What happened a week ago is an absolute tragedy and he was taken from us far, far too soon."
The service for the University of Calgary religious studies student was held at the same funeral home where he had worked for the past year.
The funeral program described Segura as a "beloved son, amazing brother, friend and grandson." During the service, his older brother Jullien said Segura believed in having integrity and always speaking the truth.
Jullien said he enjoyed being Segura’s big brother.
"I would pick on him just because I was bigger, but I made sure everyone knew that only I was allowed to pick on him," he said.
Ernie Hagel, the owner of the McInnis and Holloway Funeral Home, said Segura was well-liked by his colleagues and that it had been difficult for everyone to accept his death.
"It's devastating. We don't understand how things happen and it's such a waste. It just shows how fragile life really is," he said.
A tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park in Segura’s memory. Two trees will also be planted in a Calgary park in honour of Perras.
Joshua Hunter, 23, was also laid to rest Monday.
Family friend Peter Gammell told mourners at Hunter's funeral that the musician exemplified what it meant to be good person.
"Josh would want us to view his ending as a starting point for us to love more fully," Gammell recalled of his friend.
"He permitted access to anyone who showed interest. He exposed himself but he wasn't vulnerable. He was Everyman," he added.
"Josh had moral standards. They were the kind that were quietly demonstrated, like the way he treated everyone around him. He'd hang with little children as if they were his old friends. If he was going to a movie with his buddies, he wouldn't hesitate to include his parents."
The three young people along with Zackariah Rathwell, 21, and Lawrence Hong, 27, died after a stabbing attack last Tuesday at a house party celebrating the end of classes at the University of Calgary.
Calgary police say all five victims were attacked by another person who was invited to the party. Investigators are still examining possible motives for the attack.
Services for Rathwell and Hong will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Hunter was a University of Calgary commerce student and a member of the band "Zackariah and the Prophets," along with Rathwell. In his obituary, Hunter's family said they were struggling to come to terms with their loss.
"There are no words to describe the absolute devastation and heartbreak we feel over the tragic and senseless loss of our beloved Josh," they said. "We will forever miss that smile."
Matthew de Grood, 22, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. De Grood is the son of a senior Calgary police officer.
De Grood is a graduate from the University of Calgary, and had recently been accepted into the university’s law school. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday to face the allegations.
With files from CTV Calgary and The Canadian Press