A 24-year-old security guard at UBC Okanagan has died following a weekend attack.
Kelowna RCMP announced Monday that a Feb. 26 assault investigation had been upgraded to a homicide investigation when the unidentified woman who worked for the university succumbed to her injuries.
In the immediate aftermath of the assault, Kelowna RCMP said a man working at the university assaulted a security guard around 5:55 a.m. Saturday.
“The man has been apprehended under the Mental Health Act and the victim has been transported to Kelowna General Hospital with life-threatening injuries,” RCMP said at the time.
Shortly after the incident occurred, the suspect was identified and he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act. He remains in hospital and is could face murder charges.
It’s unclear whether the two knew each other but police said there is no risk to public safety, and that officers are on scene conducting the investigation.
The Kelowna RCMP continues to work closely with its partners at UBCO regarding this incident as the investigation continues.
In a statement posted to its website, Lesley Cormack Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC Okanagan said the university would not be identifying the victim but the university community is devastated.
“My heart and my thoughts, and those of everyone at UBCO, go to the family,” Cormack said. “I understand that there will be many questions around this incident and we are working very closely with the RCMP and our partners to provide any assistance required in the investigation.”
There will be plenty of opportunity to try to understand the circumstances of this tragedy over the coming weeks but Cormack said the university’s immediate priority is to support the family and individuals affected.
“All of our security personnel are deeply valued members of our campus community,” Cormack said. “They work tirelessly every day to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and to be a welcoming, friendly and reassuring face when help is needed. This is an incredibly difficult time for our campus and I ask that we all respect the privacy and dignity of our community members.”
Cormack said that this was an isolated incident that did not involve students and that does not pose an ongoing risk to campus safety.
Support and services are being offered to students, faculty and staff if they need it.