Man, 28, charged with second-degree murder as North Vancouver reels from violent attack
Charge laid after one woman killed in stabbing attack, six people taken to hospital
Police have charged a 28-year-old man with second-degree murder following a string of stabbings on Saturday afternoon in North Vancouver that killed one woman and sent six people to hospital.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said on Sunday that Yannick Bandaogo has been charged in the attack near a neighbourhood library. The IHIT said in a written statement that Bandaogo has undergone surgery for self-inflicted injuries and is in police custody.
Police have not named the woman who died but say she was in her 20s. Investigators said they're still trying to determine whether Bandaogo had any relationship with his alleged victims.
A makeshift memorial grew outside of the Lynn Valley public library a day after the mayhem.
Bouquets were dropped off outside the North Vancouver branch, while a "Lynn Valley strong" sign was placed nearby, matching the neon police tape. On a wooden bench lining the sidewalk, a large blood stain remained.
The quiet suburb of the city's North Shore is a haven for young families and retired couples. But at about 2 p.m. on Saturday, North Vancouver RCMP took a suspect — a man in his 20s — into custody after the stabbings.
Footage of the arrest captured on a cellphone shows a man in black lying on his stomach on the ground before being surrounded by officers.
'Lucky to be alive'
Leah Michayluk said her sister, Sheloah Klausen, was inside the library attending a book sale with her 10-year-old daughter when the attacker ran in and started stabbing a woman there.
Michayluk said Klausen told her daughter to run and hide. Then Klausen, a local teacher, tried to stop the attacker with her umbrella.
"And that is when he started stabbing and slashing her," said Michayluk.
According to Michayluk, Klausen was taken to hospital to treat a slashed hand and a stab wound in her skull. "They said she was lucky to be alive," Michayluk said.
Klausen was discharged from the hospital Sunday, Michayluk said. She added that Klausen is resting at home with her husband and daughter, trying like other people affected by the violence to make sense of it all.
"Through all her injuries she's worrying about other families and what they're going through," Michayluk said.
WATCH | Police arrest suspect after multiple stabbings in North Vancouver:
Witnesses working and shopping in the area described locking themselves inside a shop and phoning 911, seeing the suspect being taken down by what appeared to be rubber bullets and looking on in horror as he wielded a large knife.
The attack has shaken the community of Lynn Valley, a neighbourhood at the northern edge of Metro Vancouver nestled between Mount Seymour and Mount Fromme and known for its proximity to deep trails.
Piper French, who works at area restaurant Browns Socialhouse, said she was driving by on Saturday when she saw ambulances, police cruisers and a throng of people who appeared to have been evacuated from the library.
"It was quite shocking because everyone looked quite scared," she said.
"I don't even know what to say because this is such a safe neighborhood.... There's always kids out there riding their bikes. Especially in broad daylight I've never felt unsafe here until now ... it's a little bit unsettling."
Tim Hill, who works in an office around the corner from the scene and witnessed the aftermath of the stabbing, said he moved to the neighbourhood 11 years ago because he felt it would be a safe, quiet place to raise his daughter.
"There's no violent crime that you ever hear about around here. There's the occasional break-in, but it's a very quiet, peaceful neighbourhood with a lot of young families," he said.
"It's really shocking and upsetting, and we're still trying to process what happened, really."
Police seek motive for attack
Sgt. Frank Jang of the IHIT — which serves 28 RCMP and four municipal police communities in British Columbia — said key to the case will be establishing a motive for the attack. He said the accused man has had interactions with police in the past.
"Obviously the question is why did this happen, I understand. We believe we know the how, the what, the where and the when. It is our job now to determine why,'' he told a news conference near the library on Saturday.
"Every little thing is important on this one. If you heard anything, if you were here and you saw the man that was taken into custody, if you heard him saying anything or whatever the case may be, we need you to come forward.''
Jonathan Wilkinson, the MP for North Vancouver who is also Canada's environment minister, issued a statement on Twitter saying the "horrific incident" at the library left him "shocked and shaken."
"This library has been a secure place for families to gather in the Lynn Valley community for years. Until today, it was unimaginable that such a senseless act of violence could have occurred in the very heart of it.''
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered condolences to the victims in a tweet later on Saturday.
"My heart is in North Vancouver tonight," he wrote. "To everyone affected by this violent incident in Lynn Valley, know that all Canadians are keeping you in our thoughts and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured."
With files from Benoit Ferradini, Briar Stewart and The Canadian Press