Edmonton police investigate 'acts of terrorism' after officer stabbed, pedestrians run down
A man who stabbed a police officer with a knife and deliberately plowed into pedestrians on Edmonton's busiest downtown strip is being investigated for "acts of terrorism," police said at a news conference early Sunday.
A 30-year-old man is in custody following a high-speed chase just before midnight through streets filled with bar patrons and football fans. The chase ended only after a white U-Haul van the man was driving struck four pedestrians and flipped on its side.
"We believe the individual acted alone," Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht said early Sunday, adding that police would investigate the possible involvement of others.
Knecht confirmed that a black ISIS flag was seized from a car where the police officer was attacked. The officer was not critically injured. The condition of the four pedestrians is not known.
"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.
The first attack happened around 8 p.m. Saturday near Commonwealth Stadium where an officer was working traffic control for a CFL game.
Knecht said the officer was standing behind a barricade when a Chevrolet Malibu crashed into it, hit the officer and sent him flying 4.5 metres into the air.
"A male believed to be 30 years old then jumped out of his vehicle and viciously attacked the Edmonton Police Service member with a knife," Knecht said. "A struggle then ensued, during which the male suspect stabbed the officer several times before fleeing the scene on foot, northbound down 92nd Street.
The officer was taken to hospital, but his injuries are not critical.
At around 10 p.m., police told a news conference that a manhunt was underway, but there was no threat to the public.
Just before midnight, a white U-Haul van was pulled over at a Checkstop on the north side of town. When a police officer checked the driver's name, he recognized it as being similar to the name of the registered owner of the car that had struck the officer at Commonwealth Stadium.