Two boys, aged five and seven, died when an 11 to 14 inch African rock python escaped from the reptile store below their apartment in Campbellton, New Brunswick on Monday.
Jean-Claude Savoie, the owner of Cambellton's Reptile Ocean, told the Global News that the two children are his best friend's sons. They often sleep over at his apartment.
“My body is in shock. I don’t know what to think,” he told Global News.
“I thought they were sleeping until I [saw] the hole in the ceiling. I turned the lights on and I [saw] this horrific scene,” he added.
Savoie said the python must have used the ventilation system to access the living room, where the boys were sleeping.
"I pinned him down and put him in a cage and the SPCA took him,” he said.
The African rock python is non-venomous, but squeezes its prey instead.
Deputy Mayor Ian Comeau called the incident "a tragedy."
"The city is in shock," he said.