Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht did not release the 30-year-old suspect, but CTV News has confirmed that Abdulahi Sharif. Investigators will update their investigation today in a weekend raid that left a Edmonton man stabbed and four injured when hit by a rented truck self from the police. Police say terrorism and attempted murder charges are pending against suspects, who have not yet given an official name.
The 30-year-old is a Somali refugee who has been investigated for allegedly supporting extremism. RCMP’s assistant commissioner Marlin Degrand said on Sunday that the suspect was thoroughly checked in 2015 after police received a report that he may have been radicalized. The investigator determined at the time that he did not pose a threat.
Degrand said the file about the suspect was kept and shared with other intelligence and police agents after 2015, but that depends on the laws that allow it. Degrand said on Sunday that the suspect was in the process of filing a refugee claim in Canada. A federal Department of Public Security spokesman later explained that he had been found refugees by the Immigration and Refugees Council.
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said, so far, it appears that the attack was the work of one man.
“From all indications it appears that this is an individual who acts alone,” Knecht said late Sunday. “We have no reason to believe there is a threat to our city.”
The attack began around 8:15 pm Saturday night near the Commonwealth Stadium, just north of the city center, during a game between CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Outside the stadium, police Edmonton Const. Mike Chernyk handled the control and security of the crowd as a speeding Chevy Malibu white car hit a barrier and sent him flying five yards across the air.
The driver then came out, took out a large knife and began to stab him. Knecht said Chernyk, a 10-year veteran, fought, forcing the suspect to run away on foot.
“He is fighting for his life, holding his pistol with one hand and blocking it with another,” Knecht said. “This is proof of his experience and training that he found.”
Knecht says Chernyk has been released from the hospital and is expected to recover completely. He had pierced the wound on his face, his head and his blisters in his arms. After Chernyk was hit the police set up checkpoints and began to stop the car, which leads to a second meeting hours later with the suspect, now driving U-haul cube van. Police said as U-haul boarded the checkpoint, the driver produced an identification linking him to the white Malibu registered owner. He became suspicious when the police detained him, and decided to run away. U-Haul bolted toward Jasper Avenue, Edmonton’s main east-west highway, with several police cars chasing.
Knecht said the suspect rode in the opposite lane, nearly crashing into a vehicle and deliberately driving into a pedestrian, injuring four others. Of the four pedestrians, two people suffered head injuries including skull fractures. Two people have been released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon.
“Their wounds range from fractures to bloody brains,” says Knecht. He said that officers used a “tactical maneuver” to force the truck to strike south of Jasper Avenue and the suspect was arrested.
“No fired gunshots, no shots fired anywhere in the whole incident,” Knecht said. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson has urged calm and compassion after the attack.
“It is important now that we do not yield to hatred, that we are not intimidated by violence,” Iveson said. “Terrorism is about creating panic and about sowing divides and disrupts human life.
“We can either give in or get on top of it.”