A 24-year-old male is in police custody after allegedly stabbing a 19-year-old male at the South Campus LRT station, robbing a store, and stealing a car this morning.
Edmonton Police Service Acting Staff Sergeant Neil Thompson said the stabbing victim was hospitalized and is in “serious but stable condition” after sustaining multiple stab wounds. Neither EPS nor the Dean of Students at the University of Alberta could confirm or deny if the victim was associated with the university.
“We cannot confirm at this time if any of the victims were university students,” said Dean of Students André Costopoulos.
Thompson said no charges have been laid yet due to the ongoing investigation, but that the suspect will face serious charges. He added that the suspect is known to police from prior incidents.
Thompson added that police believe the incident was unprovoked.
“At this time it appears the assault at the LRT was random,” Thompson said. “We are still investigating to see what, if any motive there might have been.”
LRT service was interrupted as northbound and southbound trains alternated using one track. Replacement buses were put in place, however, many university students were disrupted during their morning commute.
Students at the scene encouraged to seek support
Costopoulos said the university is aware that some students and staff were affected by the incident today.
“Whether they were witnesses or helped respond, we are supporting them through every service we have available,” Costopoulos said.
Sheena Abar, a coordinator with the U of A’s Community Social Work Team, was present on-site at the incident. She said she was on her morning commute when it occurred and went into action right away providing support to witnesses on-scene.
“I just went into my role,” Abar said. “As a concerned citizen and member of the U of A community, I knew what to do.”
Abar said the person who initially dialled 911 was a U of A student. She noticed many other university students and staff in the vicinity.
“This was a pretty significant experience,” Abar said. “I just wanted to make sure everyone was calm and to see if they were okay.”
Any students who were affected by the incident this morning are encouraged to reach out for support, Costopoulos said.
“When something like this happens all you can do is support those affected,” he said. “The whole range of U of A services are available to those who need it.”
Stabbing part of crime spree
Police allege the suspect responsible for the stabbing was also responsible for a robbery in the nearby area.
At approximately 7:50 a.m. EPS received reports that a man had been stabbed on the northbound LRT platform at the South Campus station. While enroute to the scene, police officers received information that the suspect fled South Campus heading south on foot.
At 8:00 a.m. EPS then responded to a robbery at a nearby Mac’s convenience store in the area of 57 Ave. and 111 St. In the process, a clerk was assaulted and the suspect stole “some products.”
In an attempt to flee the scene, the suspect approached a Cadillac 2017 XTS vehicle where a lone female was driving. The suspect entered the vehicle and “grabbed onto her physically.” The female driver escaped the vehicle which the suspect then drove away, fleeing the scene.
According to Thompson, EPS utilized the OnStar navigation system onboard the stolen vehicle to create a live GPS track. He said police were able to respond to the area where the vehicle was tracked, however, the suspect was able to escape. An EPS K9 unit apprehended the suspect a block away.
Thompson said the EPS is still “looking into” whether any victims were associated with the university.
“This was a horrible incident,” Thompson said. “The investigation is still ongoing.”