Above: Ross Neitz reports on the police investigation into a stabbing spree that left two people dead Friday
EDMONTON – Charges have officially been laid against the man arrested following a deadly stabbing spree in west Edmonton Friday.
Jayme Pasieka, 29, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of possession of an offensive weapon and one count of aggravated assault.
The charges come after two people were killed Friday afternoon, and four others injured, after Pasieka allegedly walked into the building armed with two knives and stabbed at least six people.
The victims have been identified by police as 50-year-old Fitzroy Harris and 41-year-old Thierno Bah.
“As can be expected, the families are devastated that their loved ones would go to work and then never come home,” Clark said.
Dozens of officers were called to the Loblaw warehouse at 161 Street and 121 A Avenue just after 2:00 p.m.
“When our members arrived there, it was complete chaos,” Clark said Saturday morning. “There were people running around all over the place. There were numerous persons injured.”
When police arrived, Clark says Harris was found dead inside the warehouse. Bah was transported to an ambulance outside the building, where he was declared dead.
Four other men — aged 21, 29, 34 and 44 — were taken to hospital. Police say the 34-year-old man was in very serious condition, with multiple stabs wounds. His condition has since improved and while he is still in hospital, he is expected to recover.
The suspect fled the scene, and after an intense manhunt, the man was arrested in the area of 39 Street and 74 Avenue shortly after 5:00 p.m.
“He is well-known to the people inside,” Clark said of Pasieka. “He was also known to the victims.”
Clark says Pasieka was arrested without incident and has since been cooperative with police.
“He has been very calm, very polite.”
Police say there’s still no indication of what motivated him.
“At this time we have no information to suggest he had any assistance or any help from anyone else,” Clark said. “We believe he acted alone. But again, we’ll flesh that out in the coming days.”
Watch below: Staff Sgt. Bill Clark with the Edmonton Police Service Homicide Section addresses the media Saturday morning
Saturday morning Loblaw senior management was at the west-end warehouse, discussing where to go from here. The company issued the following statement:
Friday was a tragic day at our Edmonton distribution centre. We lost friends, others were injured and our entire team was shaken. We appreciate the swift response of the Edmonton police force and the courage of colleagues who assisted in the care and safety of our co-workers. Most of all, we honour our colleagues who were injured and killed. Our thoughts are with them and their families, and our team is forever saddened.
Out of this tragedy, we will work to recover our team spirit. Our facility will be closed as long as is appropriate so we can focus on those we lost and provide counseling to our colleagues. The wellbeing and safety of our team remains our priority.
Police searched the suspect’s apartment Saturday. However, police say they are not able to speak about the search.
Many of Pasieka’s neighbours tell Global News they didn’t know him well, and just saw him in passing.
One woman who lives in a nearby suite – who has asked to remain anonymous – says she often heard loud banging and screaming coming from Pasieka’s apartment. She says it made her feel extremely unsafe, and often times she would put large objects in front of her door to protect herself.
“We feel safe now, compared to last night,” the woman said. “We were so afraid yesterday.”
Clark says officers are still in the process of interviewing witnesses, but says more charges against Pasieka could be laid in the days to come.
Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Thomas Lukaszuk addressed the workplace stabbing Saturday. He says once police are finished with the scene, a thorough review will be done from an Occupational Health and Safety perspective. He also says family and co-workers of the victims will be offered counselling through the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Pasieka is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday morning.
*Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Saturday, March 1, 2014. It was updated on Sunday at 11:53 MT to include information that charges had formally been laid.