Vancouver’s police chief says the suspect in a triple stabbing at a Chinatown festival over the weekend was on day release from a forensic psychiatric hospital.
Chief Adam Palmer told a news conference attended by Mayor Ken Sim and festival organizers that a 64-year-old man is in custody after Sunday’s attack that left a couple in their 60s and a woman in her 20s with severe but non-life-threatening injuries.
He says the attack that occurred around 6 p.m. near the main stage of the Light Up Chinatown! festival “defies logical explanation.”
Vancouver Chinatown Foundation chairwoman Carol Lee broke down in tears, saying the incident had affected her personally and was a reminder that there are “a lot of things at play” in the historic neighbourhood.
The Chinatown foundation organizes the annual festival, which is intended to revitalize the district.
Palmer says the suspect in the stabbings, who was arrested a few blocks from the scene, has had contact with police before, but Vancouver police have no previous record of him in the city.
Palmer says the victims have been treated for their injuries and their physical scars should heal, but their emotional scars and the damage inflicted on the community would take longer to heal.
Lee said that issues facing Chinatown are “not going to be an easy fix.”
The neighbourhood has been the subject of concerns about crime, street disorder and economic decay.
“So, we’re going to have setbacks along the way. But I think that we’re on the right path, and it will take us time to sort of regroup (for) what will come next,” lee said.