Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is condemning the violent events in Edmonton as a “terrorist attack” after a police officer was stabbed several times and some pedestrians were struck with a van. On Sunday morning, Chief Rod Knecht confirmed that they currently have a 30-year-old man in custody and believe that he acted alone. However, the investigation is ongoing and they haven’t ruled out the involvement of others.
According to the chief, they found an Islamic State militant flag on the scene. He said, “It is believed at this time that these two incidents are related [and] are being investigated as acts of terrorism.”
On Sunday, Trudeau stated that he was “deeply concerned and outraged” at the attack which he also labeled as a terrorist attack. Trudeau said, “Our thoughts are with those injured, their family and friends, and all those affected by this senseless act of violence.” He also took the time to thank first responders and the law enforcement personnel.
He also added, “While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against. We cannot — and will not — let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada’s strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear.”
According to the reports, the events occurred Saturday night outside of the Edmonton Eskimos CFL football game at Commonwealth Stadium. It was military appreciation night and Canada’s chief of defense staff Gen. Jonathan Vance was tasked with flipping the pregame coin. To mark the even, two CF-18 fighter jets flew past before kickoff. As the game commenced, a white Chevy Malibu drove towards a traffic control post at high speed.
According to Knecht, the car slammed through the barricade which threw the officer on duty, Const. Michael Chernyk, about five meters in the air, before crashing into the police cruiser. The driver then jumped out of the car and made his way towards Chernyk, viciously stabbing him multiple times with a knife before running away.
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