An incident Saturday during a football game in Edmonton is officially being investigated as terrorism. An officer was “viciously stabbed” according to the Edmonton Police Service after a vehicle was driven into a police cruiser.
The suspect fled the scene near Commonwealth Stadium after the initial attack and EPS officers began searching the area. Social media reports indicate officers were located at many intersections in the area and were checking vehicles as part of their search efforts.
Around midnight, an officer at one of the checkstop locations inspected the license of a U-Haul driver, realizing the name was similar to the registered owner of the vehicle from the original incident. Police say at that time the driver fled the scene heading in to the downtown area.
EPS Chief Rod Knecht says during the pursuit, officers witnessed the truck being driven irratically, deliberately trying to hit pedestrians in crosswalks. Four people were injured and taken to hospital and there has been no update on their conditions.
The U-Haul flipped in the downtown core along Jasper Avenue leading to the arrest of the suspect. A 30 year old man has been taken into custody.
Chief Rod Knecht say they are investigating the incident using section 83.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
“Currently, we believe this is an individual who acted alone, although the investigation is in its early stages.”
Premier Rachel Notley tweeted her best wishes to the officer and all EPS members. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also released a statement on the incident.
“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.”
The name of the man in custody has not been released.