Police are investigation a disturbing situation that started outside of Commonwealth Stadium last night.
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) have arrested a 30-year-old Edmonton man in connection with a violent crime spree, which saw an EPS officer hit with a car and stabbed and four pedestrians later hit by a U Haul.
“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 p.m. on Saturday, a uniformed officer was working traffic control duties during the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers game.
The uniformed 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 (football) Stadium. Suddenly and without provocation, a man driving a white Chevrolet Malibu 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.
A man 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 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. It's believed four pedestrians were struck by the truck and transported to hospital with multiple injuries.
The chase concluded with the 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.
Anyone with information about these violent incidents should contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.