Suspect in Vancouver mass stabbing faces 12 assault charges
Published Saturday, February 2, 2013 7:51AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 2, 2013 9:47PM EST
A 33-year-old man is facing 12 assault charges after a vicious stabbing attack in a Vancouver apartment building sent six people to hospital.
A total of seven residents and one police officer were injured Thursday night in the Vancouver’s West End, in what police believe was a completely random attack.
Jerome Bonneric has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of assault with a weapon, three counts of common assault and assaulting a police officer.
Police believe the suspect was staying with a friend at the building where the attack took place.
"He was in the building before this started. They're looking today at why he was in there," Sgt. Randy Fincham said Friday.
Prior to his arrest, the suspect wasn’t known to police.
New details about the suspect’s previous employment emerged Saturday.
Roy Boutelier, who worked with Bonneric at a bakery up until a few months ago, said he “seemed like a decent guy.”
Boutelier was stunned by the accusations against his former co-worker.
Bonneric’s former boss at Oliver’s Breads in Port Coquitlam told CTV British Columbia Bonneric quit two months ago. He called Bonneric a nice guy and a good worker.
It’s a stark contrast to what police accuse him of doing Thursday evening.
During the attack, police said the suspect went from floor to floor in the building and attacked people with a hammer and knife.
Fincham said the crime scene is “significant” and there is a lot of evidence to gather.
He added that investigators are also looking into whether mental health, drugs or alcohol played a part in the attack.
Resident Howard Carley told CTV that he suffered minor injuries to his arm after he tackled the suspect.
“He was rambling the whole time in French and sometimes in English. Part of it was he was telling me he was going to kill me,” Carley said.
Two victims remained in hospital as of Saturday, one in very serious condition.
The violent attack has people in the neighbourhood – where Bonneric’s face was familiar to many -- on alert.
One woman said her boyfriend joined her when she went to go walk her dog Friday night.
“He said he doesn’t want me out at night now, going out walking by myself,” she said.
It’s still unclear what motivated the seemingly random attack.
Dr. Sara Joy David, a clinical psychologist said people who knew the attacker well would know whether there was a sudden financial crisis or job or relationship loss.
“These are the kinds of factors that sometimes tip people over the edge,” David said.
Bonneric will remain in police custody until Monday morning, when he is scheduled to appear in court.
Fincham said police will be asking that he not be released back into the community.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Penny Daflos and files from The Canadian Press