Vancouver police seek motive in stabbing of 7 people

Vancouver police say a 33-year-old man is in custody after what appeared to be random stabbings in the city's West End neighbourhood sent six people to hospital — one with severe injuries.

The incident took place just before 7 p.m. PT Thursday on several floors of an apartment building in the 1200 block of Barclay Street.

On Friday afternoon police issued a brief statement saying the investigation is continuing and charges have not yet been laid in the case. The name of the suspect has not been released by police.

"It was a fairly chaotic scene,” said Sgt. Randy Fincham. “There were multiple victims in multiple spots within that apartment building.”

Tommy Dolanjski, who has lived in the building for over three years, locked himself inside his apartment when he heard screams in the building.

"People were screaming, running back and forth on the lower floors," he said. "We did hear that there was someone in the building hurting people. It was just all very confusing, but we knew we just had to stay inside.”

Six people — three men and three women — were taken to hospital for treatment. Two have since been released but four people remain in hospital, one in critical condition. A seventh victim and a police officer were treated at the scene. The victims range in age from their 20s to their 60s.

The suspect was arrested a short time after the stabbings and police said there don't appear to be any connections between him and the victims.

“It was a very vicious, very serious attack. There were multiple victims in this,” Fincham said.

“It appears that a lot of these victims were unrelated to each other and that they had no dealings with each other tonight, and that it was possibly something that happened in the hallway and it was a random attack on all of these individuals.”

Fincham said the suspect does not appear to be a resident of the building.

Dolanjski said the attack is shocking because the neighbourhood is very safe.

“This building is very family oriented," he said. "For it to happen — it just seemed so out of the blue. Which is why, for them to say it was random, is kind of really strange because everyone is kind of on it as far as letting people into the building and stuff like that.”

Investigators are trying to determine what prompted the attacks and are investigating whether the suspect has any history of mental health issues.

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