Tactical squad rappels onto highrise balcony to grab stabbing suspect
TORONTO – A Harvard-educated executive with a non-governmental organization wanted in a stabbing that has a man fighting for his life was dramatically apprehended by a police tactical squad that rappelled down the side of a highrise building and grabbed the suspect on a balcony after she threatened to jump.
Police were called to an apartment building on Rosedale Valley Road near Yonge and Bloor streets just before 7:30 a.m. Thursday where they say a 67-year-old man was stabbed several times with a large kitchen knife.
The man was rushed to hospital and his injuries are considered life-threatening.
Police named 60-year-old Ellis Kirkland as a suspect.
Several hours later police responded to calls about a woman sitting on a nearby Church Street hotel balcony threatening to jump — at one point she is seen sitting on the railing with one leg dangling over the side.
Global News has learned the woman was Kirkland.
After three hours of the standoff the tactical squad sprang into action, with two officers rappelling down from a 26th-storey roof one floor above while Kirkland appears distracted by something inside.
As Kirkland moves towards the railing again, the officers swing towards her, with one twisting his body sideways to clear the railing and then tackle Kirkland. The other quickly piles on to pin her to the ground.
Police say she was not injured in the take-down and has been taken into custody. The investigation is ongoing and charges against Kirkland have not yet been laid, a spokesperson added.
Kirkland is a vice-president and executive director with the NATO Association of Canada, and has been involved with the group for over 20 years, its website says. The NGO refused to comment.
An organization profile calls her an expert in bilateral trade with a specialty in the ancient Silk Road route.
Her apparent LinkedIn profile says Kirkland has a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University and was previously vice-chair of Kirkland Global Corporation. She has lobbied the federal government for Kashechewan First Nation, and a 2014 article in Ottawa Life magazine says Kirkland was the first female president of the Ontario Association of Architects.
A photo on the NATO group’s website shows Kirkland posing for a group photo next to Jason Kenney, the Conservative MP and former defence minister, as well as former senator Hugh Segal, at a 2013 “Commonwealth Defence Lunch” event. Kirkland introduced as speakers both Kenney and Segal, the website says.
With files from Steve Morales.
© 2016 Shaw Media