Man shot dead after stabbing spree in Vancouver, police watchdog investigating
Published Friday, April 10, 2015 6:29AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 10, 2015 7:17AM EDT
A police watchdog is asking witnesses to come forward after a man was shot by police Thursday evening following a stabbing spree.
The Independent Investigations Office, which investigates police-involved shootings, is investigating the shooting while Vancouver’s Major Crime Section is investigating the stabbing that kickstarted the chain of events that led to the man’s death.
Police were called to the area near First United Church on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside after receiving reports of a man stabbing people.
According to Vancouver Police spokesperson Sgt. Randy Fincham, the suspect stabbed two men outside the church before police arrived on the scene.
Officers shot the man using a beanbag shotgun in an attempt to subdue him and arrest him.
“The suspect then turned his attention to a woman in the area. He began to stab her and that’s when police officers that were at the scene shot the man,” said Fincham, adding he believes one officer fired the shots that killed the man.
In exclusive footage obtained by CTV Vancouver, police can be seen standing near the man. He then picks something off the ground and runs out of sight behind a police car. Police officers follow after him and five shots can be heard.
The man died at the scene.
Two male victims were treated at the scene, with one needing further care in hospital. The female victim was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Daniel Gorowski, who has been living at the church since moving to Vancouver 11 days ago, said he saw one man get stabbed in the head and slashed along his side. He says another victim was stabbed in the back.
“I almost got hit by a bus because the guy almost came after me. He was holding the knife in his hand and going after people,” said Gorowski. “You’re not expecting this. You go for a smoke and all of a sudden there’s an attack. It’s outrageous.”
He said it appears an argument broke out before the stabbing spree.
One man who works in the area told CTV Vancouver there was no need for police to have shot the man as many times as they did.
“They could’ve used a Taser,” said Jean De Dieu Hakizimana. “This is not the United States. This shouldn’t happen.”