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Woman dead, six hospitalized after ‘multiple’ people stabbed at North Vancouver library

Click to play video: 'Terrifying stabbing spree in North Vancouver leaves 1 dead, several others injured' Terrifying stabbing spree in North Vancouver leaves 1 dead, several others injured
A Saturday afternoon at the library turned deadly after a man wielding a knife began stabbing people at random. Several witnesses spoke with Global News about what they saw. Julia Foy reports. – Mar 28, 2021

WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing.

A woman is dead and multiple people were taken to hospital following an apparently random stabbing spree in a busy area of North Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.

It happened around 1:45 p.m. within and outside the Lynn Valley Library, which anchors the Lynn Valley Village shopping area that was packed with weekend shoppers.

Read more: 4 dead after ‘savage’ stabbing spree across 2 Southern California cities

One suspect was arrested, and police said the attacker appeared to be acting alone.

Video from the scene appeared to show a man injuring himself with a knife before being taken into police custody.

Click to play video: 'Homicide investigators give update on deadly North Vancouver stabbing spree' Homicide investigators give update on deadly North Vancouver stabbing spree
Homicide investigators give update on deadly North Vancouver stabbing spree – Mar 27, 2021

Witnesses told Global News the suspect began stabbing people inside the library before moving outside.

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“I was in the library community room and just outside, suddenly, we hear yelling and everyone stopped and stared, everyone started running out the side door,” witness Mary Craver, who was attending a book sale at the time, said.

“I just started running too. We ran all the way to the mall.”

Click to play video: 'At least one dead & six injured after mass stabbing at Lynn Valley Library' At least one dead & six injured after mass stabbing at Lynn Valley Library
At least one dead & six injured after mass stabbing at Lynn Valley Library – Mar 27, 2021

Sgt. Frank Jang with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the suspect was alive, but would not speak to the man’s injuries.

The suspect was both known to police and had a criminal record, he added, however his motive remains unknown.

“Obviously the question is why did this happen. We believe we know the who, the what and the when. It is our job now to determine the why,” he said.

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Read more: Vancouver police release video of stabbing in East Vancouver

Jang appealed to witnesses and anyone who has video shot in the area at the time to contact police immediately.

He could not speak to the nature or severity of the other victims’ injuries, adding police had still not interviewed or identified some of them.

“We were driving up Lynn Valley Road, and there was a woman right beside her car with a seven-year-old boy, multiple stab wounds and bleeding profusely … She said it was a random stabber who was running down the street, so we immediately turned to go look for other victims. There was another 25-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds in the face,” witness Steve Mossop told Global News.

Click to play video: 'Witness video shows police takedown of alleged suspect accused in North Vancouver mass stabbing' Witness video shows police takedown of alleged suspect accused in North Vancouver mass stabbing
Witness video shows police takedown of alleged suspect accused in North Vancouver mass stabbing – Mar 27, 2021

“There were at least six victims we could count within a 50-foot radius, so it was pretty traumatic. We were trying to find our daughter in the area, so it was a bit scary.”

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BC Emergency Health Services said it deployed 11 ambulances and two supervisors to the scene. Six people were transported to hospital in unknown condition.

District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little issued a statement urging any witnesses to contact the RCMP.

“Lynn Valley and the whole District of North Vancouver is a close-knit, quiet community. An incident like this is deeply upsetting when it happens in the community we love,” Little said.

Click to play video: 'Aerial footage shows aftermath of ‘multiple’ people stabbed at North Vancouver library' Aerial footage shows aftermath of ‘multiple’ people stabbed at North Vancouver library
Aerial footage shows aftermath of ‘multiple’ people stabbed at North Vancouver library – Mar 27, 2021

“Certainly on behalf of residents I send our very best wishes to the victims and their families, who were just out on their regular Saturday business. I appreciate the quick action and excellent teamwork of our first responders, our District Fire and Rescue Services, the RCMP, and our North Shore partners from the City and West Vancouver.”

Read more: 4 people stabbed outside Vancouver nightclub where promoter was killed in 2018

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The Lynn Valley Library said it was closed for the remainder of the day, and the Lynn Valley Village asked people to avoid the area.

Anyone with information or video from the attack is asked to contact North Vancouver RCMP, IHIT or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.

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