Man charged in Eastern College knife attack

A Fredericton man has been charged in connection with a knife attack at Eastern College Monday that sent three people to hospital.

Luke Powers, 31, facing 3 assault-related charges

Luke Thomas Walter Powers, 31, of Fredericton, is facing three charges in connection with a knife attack at Eastern College on Monday. (Facebook)

A Fredericton man has been charged in connection with a knife attack at Eastern College Monday that sent three people to hospital.

Luke Thomas Walter Powers, 31, is charged with two counts of indictable aggravated assault, and one count of indictable assault.

Powers did not speak during a brief appearance in provincial court on Tuesday,as four people who identified themselves as Eastern College students looked on.

Defence lawyer T.J. Burke requested a 14-day adjournment in order to gather medical information on his client.

"I believe that that's just a prudent step in any defence counsel's development of a case to show cause why a client should be released, or should seek some form of assessment to make a determination if he's criminally responsible for his actions," Burke told reporters outside the courtroom.

Powers remains remanded in custody until a bail hearing on Feb. 7.

One instructor and two students suffered injuries ranging from minor to serious from a large, long-bladed machete-style knife.

The instructor, Lanette Dawn Ruff, required surgery, but none of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.

James Blair Raoul has been identified as the other aggravated assault victim, while Sylvain Pedneault is the assault victim, officials say.

The male suspect, who was arrested at the scene, was also injured and treated in hospital, Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch had said.

Students will get counselling

Debra Johns, vice-president of campus operations for the private career college, located on Prospect Street, says the accused had passed background checks required for the criminology course.

She says instructors at the college are trained to respond to threatening situations and the school was locked down according to plan.

The college remains closed, but classes are expected to resume on Wednesday.

The Fredericton Police Force will be sending a team of victim services counsellors to speak to students, officials said.

Meanwhile, the college plans to bring in an instructor who will incorporate the incident into the criminology program curriculum.

Fredericton police have not released any new information about the incident, including a possible motive.

The investigation continues.

If convicted, the maximum sentence for indictable aggravated assault is 14 years in prison, while indictable assault carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Police were called about a disturbance at Eastern College at about 8:25 a.m. on Monday.

Witnesses said they heard screams and cries for help coming from a criminology classroom and that there was blood everywhere.

By the time police arrived, students and staff had managed to subdue the suspect.