British Columbia

Vancouver police shoot and kill man following stabbing rampage

Police say they shot and killed a man in the middle of a stabbing rampage on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside after he refused to drop his knife and began stabbing a woman right in front of them.

Police say man was stabbing a woman when he was shot

Vancouver police say man was stabbing a woman when he was shot 1:46

Police say they shot and killed a man in the middle of a stabbing rampage on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside after he refused to drop his knife and began stabbing a woman right in front of them.

Vancouver police Sgt. Randy Fincham said police responded to reports of a man stabbing people near the First United Church at Hastings and Gore around 5 p.m. PT. 

When police arrived, Fincham said, they found the man wielding a knife outside the church on Gore Street. 

"Officers attempted to take the suspect into custody without success and police fired multiple less lethal rounds from a bean bag shotgun in an attempt to control him," he said in a statement.

"The suspect turned his attention to a woman who was standing nearby and he began to stab her. Police shot the man."

Fincham said paramedics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene.

He said two men at the church were treated for non life-threatening injuries, but the woman was rushed to hospital where she remains in critical condition.

Eyewitness says he feared for his life

Witness Daniel Gorowski said he was sitting outside on the steps of First United Church when he saw a number of people get stabbed.

"I noticed these four guys were walking down the street and they're fighting and arguing with each other ... and I noticed one of the guys ... had this big knife in his hand ... and he was hiding it kind of, and then all of the sudden swung it out and attacked the guy in the beige jacket," Gorowski said,

"Stabbed him, over here, like three or four times, and then his friend and the taller guy... was trying to stop it or whatever and ... the guy went and attacked him. And the guy got stabbed in the head and slashed right down here [down the side of his ribcage]."

Eyewitness Daniel Gorowski says his hands are still shaking after he witnessed three people being stabbed right in front of him Thursday afternoon. (Chantelle Bellrichard/CBC)

Gorowski said at that point, he feared for his own life.

"I had to run 'cuz the guy seen me, like he was gonna attack me, like if I come close I was gonna hurt right? I would have been the one in the hospital, so I was ... I was freaking out... I went over there, by the car over there."

"I look over and there's cops shooting, like 11 shots, broke out. Yeah, cuz I heard shots, I was on the phone trying to tell people what happened right, I'm like, 'oh no this guy's got a shank' then I go around the corner 11 shots broke out by the cops."

"And then I go around the corner and he attacked a girl. I was already across the street. He went around the corner and I kinda looked over afterwards and I was standing on the corner there with 911 and he went and attacked a girl — some native girl. She was like laying on the ground. So yeah, he went and attacked a bunch of people. People were screaming."

The Independent Investigations Office, which provides civilian oversight of serious police incidents, is on scene investigating the police-involved shooting, said Fincham.

With files from Chantelle Bellrichard