‘Acts of terrorism’ in Canada: Edmonton police officer stabbed, people struck by U-Haul

(GLOBAL NEWS) — A terrorism investigation is underway in Edmonton, where a police officer was stabbed and four pedestrians struck down by a fleeing U-Haul truck Saturday night.

A 30-year-old Edmonton man is in custody and police think he acted alone, but they aren’t ruling out the potential for others to be be involved.

“We are urging Edmontonians to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings,” Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said in a 3 a.m. news conference on the attacks.

At around 11:30 p.m., reporter Laurel Gregory was just wrapping up a live report at the end of Global Edmonton’s News at 11 when a police officer shouted out a warning: “Get behind a tree. Or a car. This is for your own protection!”

The chaos began down the street from Commonwealth Stadium, where the Edmonton Eskimos were hosting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Canadian Forces Appreciation Night. Over 30,000 people were at the game.

Police said at around 8:15 p.m., a car rammed a traffic checkpoint on Stadium Road near 92 Street, striking an officer and sending him flying into the air.

“Suddenly and without notice and at a high rate of speed, a male driving a white, Chevrolet Malibu crashed through the traffic barricades that were separating vehicles from pedestrians, the vehicle struck the officer, sending him flying into the air 15 feet before colliding with the officer’s cruiser, again at a high rate of speed,” Knecht explained.

Knecht said a man, believed to be 30 years old, then jumped out of his car and “viciously attacked” the Edmonton Police Service member with a knife. “A struggle then ensued, during which the male suspect stabbed the officer several times before fleeing the scene on foot northbound down 92nd street.”

The officer was taken to hospital and treated for non life-threatening injuries while a manhunt was launched.

Police say it was just before midnight when a U-Haul truck was pulled over at a checkstop on Wayne Gretzky Drive near 112 Avenue. Knecht said the officer realized the driver’s name was similar to that of the Malibu’s registered owner, and the U-Haul truck took off, pursued by police towards downtown Edmonton.

“Throughout the chase, the truck deliberately tried to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys in two areas along Jasper Avenue.”

One witness said the U-Haul came speeding down 109th Street and careened east into the alley next to a bar, hitting two people.

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