A triple stabbing led to the fatal shooting of the public by police, and now the officer involved is being investigated by the Independent Investigations Office.
Sergeant Randy Fincham says police responded to the First United Church on East Hastings and Gore street around 5:00 pm Thursday after reports of a man stabbing people.
Police say the suspect was killed, after rounds from a beanbag shotgun failed to subdue him, and he began stabbing a woman standing nearby.
The woman, who appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, is in critical condition.
Two other men who were attacked have been treated for non life-threatening injuries.
Fincham says assistance is being provided to the officer who felt forced to pull the trigger.
“At this point it looks like the officers intervened when they felt somebody’s life was at risk. That is what we saw this evening. The last thing an officer expects to do in the course of their duties is to discharge a firearm, and be put in a position where they may have to take a life.”
Eye witness Daniel Gorowski claims a black male got into a dispute with a group of individuals he knew, before stabbing the woman and two men.
“He went crazy and started stabbing people, he stabbed three people, there is a guy in a white shirt with a bandana…he got stabbed in the head, and slashed down here.”
Gorowski says he fled the area, but heard shots ring out.
“I ran down the corner over there, and I was on the phone with 911…and I heard one shot and I was like what the!? And then I got closer to the corner to see what happened, and all of a sudden it burst out to eleven shots.”
Others at First United Church also had a front row seat to the horribly violent shooting.
Church Spokesperson Heather Forbes says it was troubling for those who witnessed the violence.
“A number of us saw different parts of what happened. It started on Hastings Street, and then there was a pursuit around to Gore Street. It resulted in a very sad and incredibly violent incident.”
Forbes says her concern now is to help those people deal with the trauma of what they witnessed.
“First United is working with community members and with staff to get the support they need.”
She says the incident is not reflective of the community as a whole.
-With files from Shelby Thom and Shane Woodford