An elementary school in Delta remained closed Thursday as police investigate Wednesday’s stabbing of an off-duty officer outside the school’s front doors.
The officer was stabbed while trying to break up an assault between a man and a woman outside Immaculate Conception Elementary School on 119 Street around 3 p.m. The woman was stabbed along with the officer before the male suspect was taken into custody. Both victims were taken to hospital in serious condition.
Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord said Thursday the condition of the officer, identified as Acting Sgt. John Jasmins, has since been upgraded to stable, but the 41-year-old woman remained in serious condition. He added later she continues to improve and is expected to recover.
WATCH: Neetu Garcha provides an update from the scene of Wednesday’s stabbing outside an elementary school
At a press conference Thursday, Dubord said the officer had arrived to pick up his children at Immaculate Conception when he witnessed the man and the woman fighting, and eventually got out of his car to intervene as the fight escalated, tackling the male in the fight.
Both Jasmins and the woman were stabbed “several times,” Dubord said. The male suspect, identified as 49-year-old Manoj George of Delta, was taken into custody less than five minutes after police began receiving calls reporting the assault.
“I want to acknowledge the quick thinking and brave actions of Acting Sgt. Jasmins,” Dubord said. “If John hadn’t intervened, certainly life-threatening injuries could have resulted to this woman. He really is a hero.”
Dubord also commended the actions of the parents on scene, who reported the assault and helped escort the children back into the school as it was placed on lockdown.
WATCH: Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord passes on message from Acting Sgt. Jasmins, who remains in hospital
The chief also spoke on behalf of Jasmins, who he had met with earlier Thursday in hospital, passing on his thanks to the first responders and his family, including his children who witnessed the assault and their father’s stabbing.
George has now been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon. Dubord said he was in a relationship with the female victim.
The principal of Immaculate Conception said the decision to close the school on Thursday was made the night before, and that parents and students were notified immediately. The school plans to reopen on Friday.
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— With files from Neetu Garcha and Amy Judd