Multiple people injured during violent weekend of stabbings, shootings in Vancouver
Several people suffered serious injuries during a violent weekend marked by multiple reports of stabbings and shootings in Vancouver, police said Monday.
Those included a disturbing attack that left a woman with stab wounds to her abdomen, hip and buttocks in the Downtown Eastside, and a shooting that rang out from a highrise near Burrard and Georgia streets.
"It's obviously very concerning when we get this level of violence during a very short period of time in the city," Sgt. Steve Addison told reporters.
"This is a number of stabbings and a number of shootings that all occurred during the weekend that did stretch our resources quite thin while we were busy conducting a major investigation."
Before the series of violent crimes began on Friday evening, more than 30 officers were already working to solve a sexual assault targeting a 76-year-old woman in a wheelchair that was reported to police last week, Addison noted. (LINK TP PREVIOUS STORY)
Police shared details of several of the incidents on Monday, beginning with a stabbing near Pigeon Park on Friday evening that left a man with a lacerated kidney and internal bleeding.
"This was the second time in two days that he'd been stabbed," Addison added. "He'd been stabbed the previous day, had been taken to hospital, and had been released – and upon his release from hospital, he was stabbed again."
Later that night, the woman with multiple stab wounds to different parts of her torso made her way to the police station at Main and Cordova streets. Addison said officers then followed a trail of her blood that extended for more than a block.
"We believe this woman was likely approached by a man and woman, whom she knew, and lured into a lane at which time she was assaulted by both of them," he said.
In the early morning hours on Sunday, police were called again after a 21-year-old woman and 33-year-old man were both stabbed in a social housing complex in the same neighbourhood.
While officers were at the scene, they heard gunfire coming from another unit in the building.
Addison said an Emergency Response Team was dispatched to help with the unfolding and high-risk situation, and that officers were ultimately able to arrest a suspect who allegedly emerged from a room in the complex holding a "sharp object."
"We don't know yet if the stabbing and shooting are in any way linked," he added. "I can tell you the stabbing victims were taken to hospital and don't have life-threatening injuries, they're expected to survive."
The last incident shared by police involved a downtown tower where authorities "received reports of shots being fired at people in the area," Addison said.
Officers took three people into custody, including a 23-year-old man who is facing charges.
"Our investigators were able to zero in on an apartment in the building which we believe is linked to a known gang member or a gang associate," Addison said.
Nobody was seriously injured in the shooting, and none of the wounds suffered by the victims of the previous incidents are believed to be life-threatening, according to police.
Addison said the incidents took place amid the usual calls involving missing persons, car crashes and assaults. Despite the strain on the department's resources, he stressed that people should not hesitate to report a crime or a situation that leaves them feeling unsafe.
"If there's a crime happening in your neighbourhood, we need to know about it so we can respond appropriately," he said.
Addison could not provide specifics on the investigation into last week's disturbing attack on a senior in a wheelchair, but said police are "making headway" on the case.