Editor’s note: This article contains some disturbing details.
NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — One woman has died and six people are in hospital after a stabbing in North Vancouver Saturday afternoon, an attack police are calling “disturbing” and “heinous.”
The victims were stabbed within and outside the Lynn Valley Library. First responders were called around 1:45 p.m. and encountered a chaotic scene. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has since been called in.
Sgt. Frank Jang says one man is in custody, and that man has a criminal record. The suspect’s identity is not being released at this time.
“Obviously, the question is: Why did this happen? I understand. We believe we know the who, the what, the where, and the when. It is our job now to determine the why,” he says.
“We don’t believe that there is any further risk to public safety ... We believe we have the lone suspect in custody.”
Jang is urging anyone who shared photos or videos of the victims Saturday on social media to delete their posts, and to instead provide them to police.
“We ask that you respect the victims of this afternoon’s heinous act,” he says.
Jang says the victims’ identities, and the extent of their injuries are not yet fully known.
Investigators are appealing to witnesses as they try to piece together what happened.
“If you were here this afternoon, and you saw or heard anything suspicious, and I know we say that all the time — but every little thing is important on this one. If you were here and you saw the one person, the man that was taken into custody, if you heard him say anything, or whatever the case may be, we need you come forward,” he says.
Anyone with information, or who was in the area and has footage is urged to either call the North Vancouver RCMP at (604) 985-1311 or go directly to the detachment.
“We will speak with you right away,” Jang says.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
#ALERT: informing the public of multiple victims stabbed within & outside #LynnValley Library. One suspect in custody. Appears this was a lone suspect. No ongoing threat to public. We are still looking for potential additional victims. Any witnesses please call us at 604-985-1311
— North Vancouver RCMP (@nvanrcmp) March 27, 2021
Steve Mossop says he and his partner witnessed the aftermath.
“We were driving up Lynn Valley Road and we saw a woman that was covered in blood and waving her arms and we thought it was a car accident. So we stopped to assist her bleeding, she was in quite a state and she said the guy just attacked me,” he says.
“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,”
Several videos that seem to show the suspect being arrested have been shared on social media. There are reports there suspect injured himself before he was taken into custody.
Mayor, Premier, Prime Minister respond to horrific attack
District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little says he is deeply saddened by the incident.
“Lynn Valley and the whole district in North Vancouver is a close-knit quiet community so an incident like this is deeply upsetting when it happens in the community at a civic facility,” he says.
“It was absolutely shocking in the quiet of a Saturday afternoon. It’s obviously a very tragic event.”
Little wants anyone who witnessed the stabbing to contact RCMP Vicitim Services to get connected to counselling or other supports.
“In this kind of an incident it’s important to know that symptoms can show up several days later, and we just want people to make sure that they get the help that they need.”
Multiple police and fire services were called in to help with the response, and Little says he is grateful for their assistance.
“I appreciate the quick action and excellent teamwork of our first responders.”
I issued the following statement on this afternoon’s horrific incident at the Lynn Valley Public Library. // J'ai fait la déclaration suivante sur l’horrible incident survenu cet après-midi à la bibliothèque publique de Lynn Valley. pic.twitter.com/56sVDEiCXy
— Jonathan Wilkinson ???????? (@JonathanWNV) March 27, 2021
Premier John Horgan also posted a message to Twitter expressing support for the victims and their families.
“Devastated by the news of the attack in North Vancouver. To the victims and their families, all of BC is with you and the North Van community tonight,” he wrote.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also posted to Twitter saying, “My heart is in North Vancouver tonight. 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.”
With files from Jonathan Szekeres, Bethlehem Mariam, Nikitha Martins, and the Canadian Press