Police say a man has been arrested after walking into a Canadian Forces recruiting office armed with a knife and allegedly stabbing two Forces members in an incident being investigated for possible terrorist activity.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says the 27-year-old walked into the office around 3:30 p.m. Monday and attacked a person in uniform behind the counter.
“The attack was unprovoked,” Saunders said Monday night outside the building at Yonge Street and Greenfield Avenue, just north of Sheppard Avenue.
“Potential terrorist activity is one of the angles we are looking at,” he added.
Toronto police are working with RCMP, CSIS and Ontario Provincial Police in their investigation, Saunders noted.
The RCMP don’t expect any further incidents to occur in connection with the case, according to a statement from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
“While it is premature to comment as an investigation is ongoing, the information the RCMP has at this point suggests this is an isolated incident and that there is no imminent threat to public safety,” he said. “Canadians can be assured that their police and security agencies are fully engaged and are discharging their responsibilities.”
Saunders says other uniformed employees subdued the man.
“We’re very fortune that the Canadian Forces, through their training, responded, reacted, and as a result I can tell you the chances of this being much more severe, much more serious, definitely would have occurred,” Saunders said.
Saunders added that another man was stabbed in the process, and that a total of two Canadian Forces members were attacked. He said they suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The police chief said the alleged attacker made remarks during the incident, but declined to elaborate or identify the man, saying only he is in hospital.
“Certain comments were made by this gentleman… that has caused some concern,” he said.
The Department of National Defence says there’s no indication of previous “suspicious activity” in the area or at the facility.
“CAF members will continue to exercise vigilance and apply the necessary force protection measures,” the DND said in a statement.
“The Canadian Armed Forces are continually adapting Force Protection measures to meet the demands of an evolving security environment. The safety and well-being of DND/CAF personnel is a primary concern.”
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said via Twitter his thoughts are with those injured in the incident as well as those who jumped in to assist.
Toronto Mayor John Tory is disturbed by the incident.
“I was saddened to hear that two Canadian Forces members were injured in what appears to be an unprovoked attack at a recruiting centre in North York,” Tory said in a statement. “My office has spoken to Chief Saunders and is advised that Toronto Police are investigating with the assistance of federal authorities. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
The man will be charged with assault and police are looking into his motive, Saunders said.
There are “many people to be investigated at this point in time,” he said.