Charges laid after stabbing at South Campus LRT station; police say bystanders saved victim
A 24-year-old man has been charged with several offences including attempted murder after a stabbing on a transit platform in south Edmonton Tuesday morning.
At around 7:40 a.m., Edmonton transit shut down the South Campus LRT station and passengers on trains were told it was due to a “security incident.”
A 19-year-old man was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after being stabbed while waiting on the transit platform. Police said remained in hospital Wednesday.
LRT passenger Ali Leung was on the train with her husband when she saw a scuffle on the platform.
“And all of a sudden people backed up and the victim came running by screaming, ‘Call 911! Call 911! I’ve been stabbed,'” Leung said, adding she also saw someone she thinks might be the suspect running off in the other direction.
Leung said the victim collapsed in front of the train door, where a nurse stepped in to help.
“She got off and she was with the victim and two other people,” Leung said. “The nurse had taken off her jacket and put it over top of him. He was laying on his side. I guess he still had his backpack on and everything.”
Umer Shirif said he was about to board the train when he also saw the altercation. Shirif said as he approached, the victim stumbled into him.
“He seems really shocked and he’s panicked and he starts telling all of us, ‘Call 911! Call 911!’ That’s when I realized there probably was a knife involved,” Shirif said.
“We helped him toward the glass wall. Some people attended to him. He held open his jacket and we could see a whole bunch of blood on his chest.
“And I looked back over to where the fight was and I could see what I believe was two people running away.”
Shirif said as a nurse and doctor tended to the victim, the man said he didn’t know the person who stabbed him.
“Last I looked, before they kicked all of us off the platform, he was still awake, his eyes were still open. He was definitely a lot less conscious, but he was still awake.”
A black backpack and a down jacket was left laying on the South Campus LRT platform, where feathers from the jacket drifted around on the concrete. EMS bandages were also seen laying beside the belongings.
Photos sent to Global News show bystanders assisting a man who appeared to need medical help.
Police and EMS were on scene at South Campus, where a person was seen being taken away on a stretcher. Edmonton police said the 19-year-old victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Police said the suspect reportedly ran away immediately after the stabbing.
At about 8 a.m., police responded to a report of a robbery at a business in the area of 57 Avenue and 111 Street. It was reported that a man entered the business, assaulted an employee and stole merchandise.
The suspect then allegedly left the business and approached a vehicle in the parking lot, and demanded the female driver take him away from the scene. Police said when the driver refused, the man allegedly jumped into her vehicle on the passenger side and grabbed the woman, but she was able to break free and get out of the vehicle.
The suspect then reportedly stole the vehicle and drove away from the area.
The employee suffered minor injuries, while the driver was not injured, police said.
WATCH: There are more calls for better transit security following Tuesday’s random stabbing at the South Campus LRT Station. Fletcher Kent has more on what the city has done and what is on the way.
An electronic vehicle monitoring system allowed police to locate the vehicle parked behind a business in the area of 179 Street and 106A Avenue.
Police said when officers arrived, the suspect tried to get away in the vehicle but was stopped. As officers tried to arrest him, there was a brief altercation and the suspect broke free and fled the area on foot, according to police.
A few moments later, the suspect was found and arrested in the area of 181 Street and 107 Avenue, with the help of the Canine Unit, police said.
On Wednesday, Edmonton police said Mario Bigchild had been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of robbery, escaping lawful custody, assaulting a peace officer and disarming a peace officer.
“The EPS would like to thank the citizens who stepped in to assist the 19-year-old male during and immediately after the reported attack,” police said in a news release. “The citizens undoubtedly prevented further serious injuries to the male and likely saved his life.”
A train remained stopped at South Campus for about 10 minutes shortly after the stabbing, before an announcement was made.
“The conductor was like, ‘This train’s not going anywhere, there’s been an incident.’ And so we had gotten off and left to go walk to our bus,” Leung said.
Replacement buses were brought in to shuttle people between Southgate and University stations, and trains were passing through South Campus station without stopping.
Shortly before 10 a.m. the Edmonton Transit Service tweeted that bus replacement was ending and LRT service was moving back towards normal service.
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