VANCOUVER — A woman is dead and six others have been injured in a stabbing attack inside and around a library on Saturday in North Vancouver, B.C.
Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said a suspect in his 20s is in custody. The man has had interactions with police in the past and has a criminal record, he said.
Jang said investigators don’t have any information yet about a motive.
“Obviously the question is why did this happen, I understand. We believe we know the how, the what, the where and the when. It is our job now to determine why,” he told a news conference near where the attacks happened. “That is going to be the number 1 question for us.”
Jang said he isn’t sure if the man sustained any injuries during arrest, but he is alive.
“The North Vancouver RCMP rushed as quickly as possible to the scene and they came upon a very disturbing scene. We have multiple victims of a stabbing.”
Steve Mossop and his partner stopped when they saw a woman who was covered in blood while they were driving on Lynn Valley Road next to the library. He said they thought she’d been in a car accident but she told them she’d just been stabbed by a man.
Mossop said he and his partner saw several victims within about 100 metres of each other.
“It seemed like he was just running in a direction, whoever was in his path happened to be victimized,” he said.
“There was a man, there was an older woman, there was a younger woman, a mom. A random group of individuals in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Mossop said they later saw someone being held down on the ground by police.
B.C. Emergency Health Services says a call came in just after 1:45 p.m. and 11 ambulances and two supervising vehicles were sent to the scene.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Twitter: “To everyone affected by this violent incident in Lynn Valley, know that all Canadians are keeping you in our thoughts and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.”
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair expressed shock and sadness at what happened in a tweet, calling it a “senseless act of violence.”
Jonathan Wilkinson, the MP for North Vancouver and minister of environment and climate change, said he was shaken by the attack.
“This library has been a secure place for families to gather in the Lynn Valley community for years,” he said in a statement. “Until today, it was unimaginable that such a senseless act of violence could have occurred in the very heart of it.”
Jang said every available homicide detective is working on the case.
He made a plea for any information from people who may have been in the area on Saturday afternoon.
“Everything little thing is important on this one. If you heard anything, if you were here and you saw the man that was taken into custody, if you heard him saying anything or whatever the case may be, we need you to come forward.”