Edmonton police are launching a terror investigation into a man who stabbed a police officer and ran down pedestrians after it was discovered he had an Islamic State flag in his car.
During a press conference early Sunday morning, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said the 30-year-old man who led police on a car chase Saturday night is now in custody, also adding that police seized an ISIS flag from his vehicle.
“Based on evidence at the scenes and the actions of the suspect … it was determined that these incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism,” Knecht said, according to CBC.
The events of Saturday evening first unfolded when the man crashed his Chevrolet Malibu into a barricade, sending a police officer directing traffic at a football game 15 feet in the air. The man then left his car and stabbed the police officer numerous times. Police began a manhunt for the suspect and pulled over a white U-Haul van as part of a checkpoint. The man, who was driving the van, immediately took off and struck four pedestrians.
One bystander, Kim Anderson, told the Edmonton Journal she saw the van hitting pedestrians.
“There were people flying and everything,” she said. “I’m shocked — I just see people flying.”
While the condition of the pedestrians is unknown, the police officer is expected to recover, as his injuries are not critical.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement of support on Sunday reminding Canadians that in the midst of this appalling tragedy, diversity is Canada’s strength.
“The Government of Canada and Canadians stand with the people of Edmonton after the terrorist attack on Saturday,” he said. “I am deeply concerned and outraged by this tragedy.”
“We cannot – and will not – let violent extremism take root in our communities,” Trudeau 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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