Two attacks that took place in Edmonton, Canada on Sunday have been linked to a single suspected terrorist by local authorities, after a man who was seen driving his vehicle into a police officer, then stabbing him, later went on to drive a truck into at least four pedestrians during a chase from police.
At approximately 8:15 pm local time, the suspect drove a white Chevrolet Malibu into a traffic barricade law enforcement had put into place for an Edmonton Eskimos football game, hitting Officer Mike Chernyk of the Edmonton police, who was standing between the barricade and his cruiser.
It was military appreciation night for the Edmonton Eskimos, who play professional American style football in the Canadian Football League. The game, which saw the Eskimos playing against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, included Canada’s chief of defense staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, conducting the pregame coin flip, and had hundreds of Boy Scouts in attendance.
“The vehicle struck the police officer, sending him flying into the air 15 feet, before colliding with the police officer’s cruiser again at a high rate of speed,” Chief Rod Knecht of the Edmonton Police Service said.
At that point, the suspect emerged from the Malibu brandishing a knife, which he used to stab the injured officer multiple times before fleeing the scene on foot. A search of his vehicle revealed an ISIS flag the suspect had left behind. Remarkably, despite severe abrasions on his arms and several stab wounds to the face, Officer Chernyk is expected to make a full recovery. See the dramatic footage released by police below:
— Kent Morrison (@KentMGlobal) October 1, 2017
Hours later, the suspect attempted to cross a checkpoint in a rented U-Haul truck, but as the officer recognized his name, the suspect reportedly fled, inciting a chase that would see the suspect repeatedly attempt to hit pedestrians as he swerved through Edmonton’s busy downtown streets.
The suspect reportedly managed to hit four pedestrians, two of whom have been released from the hospital, before officers were able to cause the driver to lose control, stopping the rampage and taking him into custody by kicking in the windshield and using a stun grenade.
“As a result, a deliberate tactical maneuver by a police vehicle was authorized and successfully executed, causing the suspect vehicle to roll onto its side,” Knecht said. “No shots were fired. In fact, no shots were fired anywhere in this entire incident.”
The suspect’s name has not been released, though he has been identified as a 30-year-old Somali refugee that had previously been arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on charges such as participation in a terrorist act and the commission of an offense for a terrorist group, according to Knecht. According to the Police Chief, this incident is being considered a “lone wolf attack.”
“The Government of Canada and Canadians stand with the people of Edmonton after the terrorist attack on Saturday that sent an Edmonton Police Service officer to (the) hospital and injured a number of innocent people who were out to cheer on their football team and to enjoy an evening in their city,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement Sunday.
“We cannot — and will not — let violent extremism take root in our communities,” he added. “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.”
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