Two Toronto police officers were taken to hospital and a knife was recovered after an altercation took place in Etobicoke on Tuesday morning.
The incident took place inside a rooming house with six individual apartments located in the area of Royal York Road and Lawrence Avenue West.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, interim Toronto police Chief James Ramer said Peel Regional Police contacted his officers on Monday night regarding a missing person from this address.
“They (Peel officers) attended here and located some blood in the missing person’s apartment and contacted us and we attended with them here,” he said.
Efforts were made throughout the night to locate the missing individual but officers were unsuccessful, Ramer said.
Then, members of the Toronto Police Service’s 23 Division returned to the address at approximately 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday to conduct a search of the property and speak with other tenants.
“At approximately 11:15 a.m., they were in the common area of the residence and an individual in one of the rooms they didn’t know previously was occupied came out, said nothing to them and was armed with a knife and immediately attacked some of the officers that were on scene,” Ramer said.
Officers were able to restrain the individual using a conducted energy weapon. The knife was recovered at the scene and the individual is in police custody in hospital. Toronto paramedics said the individual sustained minor injuries.
The knife-wielding individual is not the missing person officers were searching for, Ramer said, adding their whereabouts are still unknown.
During the knife attack, Ramer said one officer sustained “two serious slash wounds” and was sent to Sunnybrook Hospital to get medical attention. The 20-year veteran cop is believed to be in non-life-threatening condition.
The other officer is on his first year of the job and was transported to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Both officers have now been released from hospital and are in stable condition.
There is a large police presence in the area and nearby roads remain closed as an investigation is conducted.
Speaking at a Tuesday afternoon news conference regarding the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he will be personally phoning the injured officers when they are “up and it again.”
“First of all, I think the world of our men and women that serve day in and day out,” he said. “I just found out while walking over here that it’s right down the street from our family home that thousands of people have been to.”
“It’s concerning and I just want to wish the two police officers that are at Sunnybrook all the very best, a speedy recovery.”
Also at the news conference, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones echoed the premier’s sentiment.
“We’ve invested a lot of time and a lot of power into making sure that our police have the resources they need to protect our communities, to keep our streets safe so thoughts and prayers to the officers,” she said.
Police identified the accused in a news release issued late Tuesday night.
Ahmed Al Farkh, 33, of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, weapons dangerous, and assault intent to resist arrest.
He is scheduled to make a court appearance on Wednesday morning.