People in Edmonton were rocked Saturday night by two violent attacks: a police officer struck by a vehicle then stabbed, and four pedestrians who were run down on one of the city’s main streets.
Thirty-year-old Abdulahi Sharif has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, five counts of criminal flight causing bodily harm, dangerous driving and one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
According to court documents, the four pedestrians struck in Saturday’s attack were: Jack Zubick, Paul Biegel, Jordan Stewardson and Kimberley O’Hara.
Of the four pedestrians hit by the U-Haul downtown, two have already been released from hospital.
“At this time, two continue to remain in hospital and one is still in serious condition,” RCMP K Division Supt. Stacey Talbot said on Monday.
The two women who were struck near the Matrix Hotel — Stewardson and O’Hara — both work for the crane company Mammoet.
A spokesperson for the company said it is trying to help the families and co-workers as best it can. Mammoet is sending out internal memos to staff to keep everyone informed.
“Kim is resting in stable condition,” spokesperson Ron Hynes said.
He said Stewardson is “back home in Fort McMurray.”
Hynes said it’s “tough when it hits so close to home.”
Watch below: Edmonton police are answering questions about the hours between the attack on the officer and the U-Haul rampage through downtown. Kim Smith reports.
The two young men struck — Zubick and Biegel — were outside The Pint when the U-Haul drove through the alley just off 109 Street and Jasper Avenue.
“I am at home and doing well,” Zubick wrote in a message to Global News Monday evening. “Feeling like I got hit by a truck but I will make a full recovery.
“I would like to thank EPS and the staff of the Royal Alex Hospital for their great care and support.”
Edmonton police defended their pursuit of the suspect from Wayne Gretzky Drive to Jasper Avenue.
“Two marked police vehicles and four tactical vehicles were involved. It was a tactical vehicle that performed the manoeuvre to get the U-Haul truck on its side,” EPS Insp. Carols Cordoso. “Other police cars were deployed to the area to block off the streets as the chase was proceeding and to secure the area once the pursuit was complete in order to maintain public safety.
“If we hadn’t pursued this vehicle — in light of the use of the car earlier to run over a police officer and the history of large vehicle attacks in Germany, Spain and other European countries — the outcome would have been much worse.”
Const. Mike Chernyk is an 11-year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service.
He was working at a roadblock near Commonwealth Stadium, where the Edmonton Eskimos were playing, when the suspect’s car rammed into him, throwing him several metres. Security video shows the driver of the car then running over to the officer and stabbing him. The officer can be seen fighting off the suspect, who then runs away.
Chernyk, 48, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but has since been released from hospital. He suffered stab wounds to the face and head, as well as significant abrasions on his arms, but is expected to make a full recovery, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said.
“The constable is doing surprisingly well,” EPS Insp. Carols Cordoso said Monday, adding he is receiving support from police and family.
The investigation is now being led by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSET).