Edmonton Police have arrested one man after a police officer was "viciously stabbed" and a U-Haul ran into a group of people Saturday night in the provincial capital.
UPDATE: Charges have been laid against a 30 year old Edmonton man in connection to a violent rampage in that city Saturday night. Abdulahi Hassan Sharif has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, dangerous driving and other offences. Constable Micheal Chernyk was intentionally hit by a car near Commonwealth Stadium, then the driver got out of the vehicle and stabbed the officer several times. Three and a half hours later, a U-Haul truck fled a police check-stop injuring four pedestrians at two different locations before being stopped by a tactical unit. Sharif remains in custody and is due in court Tuesday morning. -Tina Giesbrecht
The Edmonton Police Service has arrested a 30 year old Edmonton man in connection with a violent crime spree, which saw an EPS officer struck with a car and viciously stabbed, and four pedestrians deliberately struck with a different vehicle later Saturday evening. The EPS and the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) are now investigating the incidents as an Act of Terrorism.“EPS members arrested and took a male suspect we believe to be responsible for these acts of violence into custody earlier this morning,” said EPS Chief Rod Knecht. “We ask that our citizens remain vigilant and observant of their surroundings, and contact police should they notice any other unusual activities around the city.” At approximately 8:15 pm Saturday (Sept. 30) a uniformed EPS officer was working traffic control duties during a CFL football game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The officer was standing behind a traffic barricade and in front of his police vehicle at an intersection near 107A Avenue and 92 Street, just southwest of Commonwealth Stadium. Suddenly, and without provocation, a male driving a white Chevrolet Malibou crashed through the traffic barricades that were separating vehicles from pedestrians, at a high rate of speed. The vehicle struck the EPS officer, sending him flying 15 feet through the air, before colliding with the officer’s cruiser, again at a high rate of speed. A man, believed to be 30 years of age, then jumped out of his vehicle and began viciously stabbing the officer with a knife, as a struggle ensued. The suspect then fled the scene on foot, northbound down 92 Street. The officer was then transported to hospital with various injuries. Just before midnight, a U-Haul truck was pulled over at a Checkstop location on Wayne Gretzky Drive and 112 Avenue. A police officer asked to see the licence of the driver, and recognized the name as being similar to the registered owner of the Chevy Malibu involved in the incident on 107A Avenue earlier in the evening. The U-Haul truck then immediately fled the scene, and was pursued by police officers towards downtown Edmonton. During the chase, the U-Haul truck deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys in two areas along Jasper Avenue, at 107 and 109 streets. Currently, it is believed four pedestrians were struck by the truck and transported to hospital with multiple injuries. The chase concluded with the U-Haul truck flipping over on Jasper Avenue. The driver was apprehended and is currently in police custody. Investigators believe the incident near Commonwealth Stadium and subsequent attempts to injure pedestrians in downtown Edmonton may be related. Based on evidence at the scene and the actions of the male suspect, EPS, INSET and its Canadian Public Security Agencies are now investigating these incidents as acts of terrorism. “Currently, we believe this is an individual who acted alone, although the investigation is in its early stages,” said Chief Knecht. “We are urging all Edmontonians to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Please contact police immediately if you see or hear anything out of the ordinary or unusual.” - Edmonton Police Service Release
Prime Minister Trudeau Issues Statement
"The Government of Canada and Canadians stand with the people of Edmonton after the terrorist attack on Saturday that sent an Edmonton Police Service officer to hospital and injured a number of innocent people who were out to cheer on their football team and to enjoy an evening in their city. I am deeply concerned and outraged by this tragedy.
"Our thoughts are with those injured, their family and friends, and all those affected by this senseless act of violence. I am also grateful for the first responders who were there on the scene, and the enforcement authorities who have been working through the night to make sure that everybody in Edmonton and Alberta is safe and secure. Police officers put themselves at great personal risk every single day on our behalf, and this attack is a stark reminder of the sacrifices they make for the public good.
"While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against. The RCMP and the Edmonton Police Service, through the Integrated National Enforcement Team, are working closely together to bring those involved to justice.
"We cannot – and will not – let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada's strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear. Edmonton is a strong and resilient city, and I am confident that its citizens will support one another to overcome this tragic event."
Premier Rachel Notley's Statement:
“The horrific events last night in downtown Edmonton have left us shocked and angry. It's left us shocked at the indiscriminate cruelty and angry that someone might target their hatred at places where we gather with our families and friends.
“Our first responders are incredible people. Thank you to each and every one of our police officers, paramedics and firefighters who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Thank you, also, to the women and men who dropped everything to help their fellow Albertans. Your bravery in moments of fear and your compassion in moments of chaos are what’s very best about us.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and their loved ones, and with everyone who witnessed last’s violence.
“As we learn more about what happened last night, I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and to listen to law enforcement authorities.
“Hatred has no place in Alberta. It’s not who we are. We are in this together and together we are stronger than any form of hate.”