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Calgary police arrest man after random stabbing sends woman to hospital

Click to play video: 'Calgary police continue to investigate random downtown stabbing' Calgary police continue to investigate random downtown stabbing
WATCH: Calgary police chief Mark Neufeld is calling an unprovoked stabbing on Tuesday a "cowardly" attack. As Christa Dao reports, investigators are determined to find the person responsible. – Jul 8, 2021

Following a random stabbing downtown Tuesday night, the Calgary Police Service has charged a man they believe was involved.

On Sunday, CPS executed a search warrant at a resident on the 2700 block of 12 Avenue S.E., arresting a man.

That search warrant stemmed from an officer recognizing an individual from an internal notice that included CCTV images of a suspect in the assault.

On Monday morning, CPS said they charged 19-year-old Ethan Lawless with aggravated assault.

Read more: Calgary man found guilty of murder after running over wife with U-Haul

Lawless is due to remain in police custody until his court appearance on July 14.

On Thursday, police released details and CCTV images of a man they hoped the public could help identify.

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At about 11:40 p.m. on July 6, police say a woman standing a CTrain station on the corner of 7 Avenue and 1 Street S.W. was approached from behind and stabbed several times. The assailant fled and another woman nearby cried out for help.

Officers arrived and performed first aid before the woman was transported to hospital in stable condition.

Read more: Police seek suspect in possibly random stabbing in Calgary fast food restaurant

Police said the attacker and victim did not know each other and had no prior interactions.

EMS told Global News that the victim was in her 30s and suffered traumatic injuries.

Police described the man as approximately 5’6” tall with a slim build and blond or light-brown hair. He was wearing a black and white Metallica T-shirt, black shorts, white sneakers and a grey coat with a black and red stripe through it.

CPS Chief Mark Neufeld called the random attack “shocking.”

“I would call that a cowardly attack,” Neufeld said.

More officers at transit stations

Following an afternoon that saw a targeted shooting in the southwest community of Crestmont and an unconnected officer-involved shooting at the Sirocco C-Train station, along with 81 calls for service between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Neufeld said elevated levels of violence “is the norm.”

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“Conversations about our city and of our public transit and the downtown area are all going on within our police service and our city right now,” the police chief said Thursday.

“We are concerned about the recent spike in violence and we are actively working with our partners to make it stop.”

Read more: Man shot by police on Calgary CTrain after standoff, ASIRT to investigate

Neufeld said there will be an increased presence of CPS and transit officers on CTrains and at stations, and throughout the city’s core throughout Stampede.

He also said CPS has increased its patrols of Calgary Transit stations around the city, including at Westbrook, Sunalta, 69 Street, Somerset-Bridlewood, Heritage, Shawnessy, Southland and Anderson.

Neufeld also highlighted the fact that police have ongoing operations to address social disorder and criminal activity like drug-trafficking.

But the police chief maintained that citizen safety is a top priority for his officers.

Click to play video: 'CTrains shut down at Sirocco station after reports of armed rider: Calgary police' CTrains shut down at Sirocco station after reports of armed rider: Calgary police
CTrains shut down at Sirocco station after reports of armed rider: Calgary police – Jul 7, 2021

“Despite the incidents that occurred yesterday, we have experienced fewer shootings and fewer homicides in 2021 than we had in 2020,” Neufeld said. “Regardless, even one of these events is one too many.

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“And the reckless disregard for public safety and violence of any kind will not be tolerated in our city, full stop. Every Calgarian has the right to live, work, learn, visit or play in our city free from fear of violence or criminal behaviour. Our members will continue to do our level best to make that a reality.”

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