VANCOUVER — A 7-Eleven store in Vancouver’s West End remained closed Sunday as police investigated a violent knife attack that sent a woman to hospital about 5:30 a.m.
The 30-year-old woman was a customer in the all-night convenience store at Denman and Comox when she was attacked.
Police said they believe the attack was random.
The victim was reported to be in stable condition in the hospital.
The attack again highlights concerns area residents have for their safety.
“It is not safe around here any more,” said area resident Alice Chan, 59. “I have a feeling this attack is [by] someone with a mental illness.
“It is changing around here,” Chan added. “Yesterday, there was a guy walking down the alley booting cars. I am afraid now to walk at night by myself.”
Not everyone shares her fears.
“It is a perfectly safe neighbourhood,” said Shannon Lake, 25.
Some residents said they woke to cries for help after the attack.
“I heard her screaming,” said Margaret, an 81-year-old woman who did not want her last name used. “She was saying, ‘Help me, help me!’ That’s what got me out of bed.”
Margaret also said she heard the victim tell police she did not know the attacker. ”She said, ‘I didn’t do anything, I don’t know him.’ She was very frightened.”
As the victim lay at the front of the store, people rushed to her aid. “A lot of people were trying to help this gal,” Margaret said.
After the victim was taken away, she said, police took a man out in handcuffs and put him in a paddy wagon.
Vancouver police spokesman Sgt. Randy Fincham said the attack appeared to be random. The suspect was wrestled to the ground by people in the store.
The suspect is a 39-year-old man known to police. Investigators continue to piece the attack together and had not laid charges by Sunday afternoon.
In February, a man went on a stabbing spree at an apartment complex in Vancouver’s West End.
The knife attack sent seven people to hospital with serious injuries. That suspect is in custody pending a criminal trial.
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