Eby ‘white-hot’ angry with Chinatown stabbing suspect’s release from psychiatric hospital

Click to play video: 'B.C. premier ‘white-hot angry’ over stabbing spree suspect’s day pass'
B.C. premier ‘white-hot angry’ over stabbing spree suspect’s day pass
WATCH: British Columbia Premier David Eby is outraged after a man on an unescorted day pass from a forensic psychiatric hospital allegedly stabbed three people in Vancouver. Eric Sorensen reports – Sep 13, 2023

British Columbia Premier David Eby says he is “white-hot” angry over the day release of a man from a forensic psychiatric hospital before he was arrested for a triple-stabbing in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Eby said the decision to release the man boggles the mind and he wants to get to the bottom of how it occurred.

He said the government “will ensure an independent person looks into the specifics of this case. The decision-making process. How we arrived at this awful place.”

That work on that was “already underway,” he added.

Click to play video: 'Suspect charged in Vancouver Chinatown’s triple stabbing'
Suspect charged in Vancouver Chinatown’s triple stabbing

Blair Evan Donnelly, 64, has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault and remains in custody after Sunday’s attack at the Light Up Chinatown festival.

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In 2008, Donnelly was found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder for stabbing his teenage daughter to death in 2006. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital, but Eby said the man was released in 2009 and “went out and stabbed somebody else.”

Despite that previous incident, Donnelly was released again before Sunday’s attack.

Click to play video: 'Community reaction to Chinatown stabbings'
Community reaction to Chinatown stabbings

The premier said many resources were put into the community celebration in Chinatown and just five minutes before it ended, the “horrific event” occurred.

“I am so angry. I am white-hot angry that this person was released unaccompanied into the community to have a devastating impact on all the hard work of all these community members,” Eby said.

“I cannot fathom how someone who murdered his daughter was released in 2009, went out and stabbed somebody else, would then be released again, unaccompanied, somehow able to go out and buy a knife, go to Chinatown and stab three people. How is that possible?”

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The premier said he wants to assure the victims, their families and all others affected by the stabbing that his government will determine how it happened and do everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A man and woman in their 60s and a woman in her 20s suffered severe but non-life-threatening injuries in Sunday’s attack.

— with files from Global News’ Elizabeth McSheffrey

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