North Vancouver stabbings suspect makes 1st court appearance

The 28-year-old Quebec man facing a murder charge in connection with the recent stabbings in North Vancouver's Lynn Valley neighbourhood made his first court appearance on Thursday morning.

Yannick Bandaogo, who is charged with one count of second-degree murder, appeared via video link from jail.

He wore a white sleeveless sweatshirt and his left arm was in a white cast from his elbow down to his hand.

During the appearance in North Vancouver provincial court, Bandaogo appeared to be paying close attention to the proceedings, and communicated with defence duty counsel and the judge via a French translator.

The accused indicated to the judge he had not applied for legal aid, nor did he know a French-speaking lawyer.

The hearing was adjourned until 2 p.m., when defence duty counsel told the judge and the suspect he had found a lawyer willing to represent Bandaogo.

While the suspect faces a single murder charge, in connection with the death of a woman in her 20s, investigators say they believe he's responsible for stabbings around the Lynn Valley Library last Saturday that injured six other people.

One of those survivors, who is recovering in hospital, is mother of three Susanne Till.

On Thursday, close friends of Till gathered to share stories of strength and to express gratitude for the outpouring of support she's received from the community.

“She wanted me to make sure that everyone knew as soon as she gets better, she wants to help the rest of the community heal,” said Till’s friend, Kirsten Emerson.

“She is probably one of the most optimistic people I know,” Emerson added. “She is very strong.”

Till, who lost one of her eyes after the attack, and will remain in hospital at least until Sunday, faces a long road to recovery, Emerson added.

As of Thursday, a GoFundMe for Till had raised over $200,000 and countless others, including dentists, physiotherapists, and lawyers had offered their services free of charge.

Till’s top priority, Emerson explained, is taking care of her children and preserving their privacy.

As for the suspect, Emerson added: “I don’t use ‘hate’ because it’s a very strong word. But, I’m very angry. I pity him. I feel sorry for him.”

Police do not believe the suspect had any connection to any of the victims and have said little about a potential motive.

Bandaogo is scheduled to return to court on April 7.