Police investigating ‘acts of terrorism’, EPS officer and four civilians injured in series of attacks
Edmonton Police said a suspect was in custody, while an officer and four civilians were in hospital, following a violent series of events in Edmonton Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Police said the first incident happened at about 8:15 p.m. in the area of 107A Avenue and 92 Street.
EPS Chief Rod Knecht said the uniformed officer had been standing behind a barricade and in front of his police vehicle when a male driving a white Chevrolet Malibu crashed into the barricade, hitting the officer.
“The vehicle struck the officer, sending him flying into the air fifteen feet, before colliding with the officer’s cruiser, again at a high rate of speed,” Knecht said.
“[The officer] was approached by an unknown male suspect in a vehicle, at which time the suspect rammed the police cruiser,” EPS spokesperson Scott Pattison said. “The suspect got out of his vehicle and an altercation ensued. The officer sustained some injuries, he’s in hospital, and thankfully he’s doing OK.”
The officer was stabbed a number of times during the confrontation.
Pattison said the suspect was still at large hours later, he reportedly fled on foot north on 92 Street. At last word, Air 1 was assisting officers in efforts to track the suspect.
CTV News cameras captured what appeared to be an ISIS flag inside the vehicle that crashed into the cruiser. In a news conference hours later, EPS Chief Rod Knecht confirmed an ISIS flag had been discovered in the white vehicle.
Knecht said details on the identity of the registered owner of the vehicle were distributed to officers.
Then, just before midnight, a UHaul was pulled over at a Checkstop on Wayne Gretzky Drive and 112 Avenue – an officer checking the driver’s licence recognized the name, and the UHaul fled the scene.
Police pursued the truck.
“Throughout the chase, the truck deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and in alleys in two areas along Jasper Avenue,” Knecht said, he said police were aware of four individuals injured and taken to hospital as a result of this incident.
Finally, the UHaul truck flipped on Jasper Avenue – the driver was apprehended and is in custody.
“It is believed at this time that these two incidents are related, based on evidence at the scenes, and actions of the suspect, at 12:38 a.m. today, it was determined that these incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism,” Knecht said.
Knecht said it’s believed the suspect acted alone, but investigators are not ruling out the possibility others may have been involved.
EPS is working with the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team on this investigation.
Knecht said the investigation was in the early stages, and urged Edmontonians to contact police if they see or hear anything suspicious.