Toronto police have released a video showing four suspects wanted in connection with the stabbing of an off-duty officer who attempted to intervene in a daytime theft at a store in the east end on Wednesday morning.
The video, captured from a dashcam, shows the suspects carrying a large box out of a Best Buy store and loading it into the back of a minivan.
All suspects can be seen getting into the vehicle before it drives away.
Toronto police said it happened at around 11:45 a.m. in the area of Progress Avenue and the ramp from Highway 401 East, which is near Brimley Road.
Police said four suspects, three men and a woman, entered the business and allegedly began stealing an item from the store. Police initially reported that three suspects were involved.
Insp. Chris McCann said Wednesday afternoon that an off-duty Toronto police officer saw what was happening and an altercation ensued just outside of the business. The officer was stabbed in the wrist by one of the suspects, McCann said.
He was reported to have suffered serious injuries.
“Fortunately, paramedics responded very quickly, were able to apply a tourniquet to the officer’s injuries to stop the bleeding,” McCann said.
“The officer is currently in stable condition and is going to require surgery at a later time.”
The suspects fled the scene in a grey Toyota Sienna minivan and were last seen going north on Brimley Road and then west on Highway 401, he said.
On Wednesday evening, police also released images of the suspects in the hopes that the public can help identify them.
One of the suspects was described as a male wearing a dark jacket with a hood and jeans.
The second suspect was also described as a male wearing a dark jacket with a hood and jeans.
The third suspect is a female who wearing a green camo coloured shirt and grey cargo pants.
The fourth suspect was described as a male wearing a white hooded jacket and dark pants.
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It was one of the men who allegedly stabbed the off-duty officer, police said.
“Officers are currently searching for these suspects,” McCann said in his earlier update, and he appealed to the public for any information or video footage that could assist in the investigation.
He said while the off-duty officer intervened in the alleged theft, if the public sees a theft ongoing, they should not get involved.
“The fact that this was an off-duty police officer, I can only imagine that he felt compelled to assist when he saw what was happening,” McCann said.
“But the message which is really important to the general public is their safety is what’s most paramount, so please don’t get involved. We don’t want anybody to get hurt. If you see something, by all means call the police and we can respond.”