Abbotsford teen who assisted stabbing victim recounts harrowing moments of attack
Baljot Rai was among students who provided first aid for wounded victim
It's been two days, but Baljot Rai still can't stop thinking about the sounds that echoed through the halls at Abbotsford Senior Secondary school on Tuesday during the double stabbing that left one girl dead and another wounded.
"The scream — I don't think I'll be able to unhear that," Rai said.
The Grade 12 student at the B.C. school was on the phone outside the library when the stabbings occurred, but said she rushed back inside after hearing that scream.
"I told all my friends in the library to get down, get down, get into lockdown — there's somebody out there."
At that point, Rai had no idea that a man had stabbed two of her peers.
Rai and others got under the tables and waited. Soon after, a librarian instructed them to crawl to the nearby computer lab.
"One friend opened the door to the hallway that's connected to the computer lab and he pulled in one of the victims," Rai said.
She said that's when the group shut the curtains, closed the doors and went into lockdown.
Scramble to help the victim
Rai said a few students gathered around the young girl and tried to keep her talking.
"I took off my scarf and my friends took off their sweaters to apply pressure to the wounds. Me and two other students knew basic first aid," she said.
Rai's mother is a nurse in training. She said that right in that moment she tried to think of what her mother would tell her to do.
"All I can remember is holding her hand and telling her: 'If you feel pain just squeeze my hand, just squeeze my hand.'"
Rai said was there was no cell reception in that room and no landline, so no one was able to call 911.
"I was staying calm for her, but I could feel myself losing it and shaking inside. I remember thinking, 'I'm not going to come out alive from this,'" Rai said.
Ten minutes later, paramedics arrived and took the young student away. She remains in hospital in stable condition.
Finding comfort in friends
Homicide investigators said Wednesday they believe the attack was random and the suspect had no ties to the school, the two victims or to the Abbotsford area.
They released a photograph today of the man charged and are asking the public for more information.
The school remains closed for the investigation.
Students like Rai have been meeting with counsellors at the school to talk about what happened, but she said the biggest comfort has come from seeing her friends.
"Some of my friends were in different classes, and it just felt better because I hadn't seen them since before the incident," Rai said.
"We already know what happened, but it just feels more comforting to see them with their own eyes and just say, 'Hey I love you, I'm glad you're OK.'"
Rai said she believes it will take a long time for anyone to begin to move on.
"How do we go back and feel safe again and just continue our lives?"