The superintendent of schools in Abbotsford, B.C., says evidence suggests the man alleged to have killed one female student and injured another didn’t know his victims.
Kevin Godden says investigators believe the attack was a “random act of violence” and that the suspect is not connected to either of the students who were attacked.
Godden praised the actions of staff at Abbotsford Senior Secondary saying while “you can never truly prepare for a situation like this,” staff were quick to act and stopped the man by first yelling at him and then restraining him until police arrived.
“I’m so proud of our staff and the police in the manner in which they responded,” added Godden.
He said right now the focus is on healing for the community and staff and students but a decision will be made later today if the school will reopen on Thursday.
WATCH: Officials say Abbotsford school stabbing was ‘random act of violence.’ Jordan Armstrong has the latest on the investigation Wednesday afternoon.
The names of the two victims have not been released as authorities work to notify extended family.
The second victim remains in hospital in stable condition.
The identity of the suspect has not been released.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said today needs to be a day to let the community grieve the loss of the student who died.
He extended his condolences to the family of the victim.
“I cannot imagine something more devastating than to leave your house in the morning to say goodbye to your son or your daughter and then to find out in the afternoon that they’re gone,” he said. “I cannot imagine the pain they’re going through and the questions and the grief.
“When I heard this I was shocked and saddened and angered. This is the time we need to come together for the family and we will get to the bottom of what happened…. and we’ll need those solutions.”
Braun added the event has deeply impacted the community and there will be lots of time to look at what happened and why.
WATCH: Premier Christy Clark reacts to the deadly Abbotsford stabbing Wednesday morning at a press conference.
In a statement on Wednesday Premier Christy Clark said:
“Yesterday, I was shocked to hear about the tragic attack at Abbotsford Senior Secondary school. Schools are supposed to be – and must be – places where parents know their kids are safe. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that.”
“I hope the investigation concludes swiftly, so we can take whatever action is required to make sure a tragedy like this never happens in British Columbia again.”
“Until we have those answers, I want to commend the heroism of the staff and fellow students who came to the victims’ aid and subdued the suspect. Your bravery is an example for us all.”
“I cannot imagine the heartbreak of everyone involved. My thoughts are with the victims, their friends and families, and everyone at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.”
John Horgan, leader of the BC NDP, said the events in Abbotsford were “horrific”.
“Public safety should be paramount for this government,” he said. “They talk a good game but they’re not delivering.”
– With files from The Canadian Press