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'The system once again failed': EPS chief details criminal history of man accused of killing mother, child


The Edmonton Police Service provided more information on Monday about the fatal stabbings of a mother and her child last week.

Carolann Robillard, 35, and her child, Sara, who also went by Jayden, 11, were stabbed near Crawford Plains School shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday, police confirmed.

Carolann died at the scene; her child died in hospital.

Shortly after the stabbings, two officers shot a man in the area of 46 Street and 12 Avenue.

He was critically injured and taken to hospital.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating the police shooting.

A vigil was held on Saturday at Crawford Plains School for the victims.

EPS Chief Dale McFee held a news conference on Monday about the stabbings.

"Two lives taken far too soon, in an act we believe to be random. In no way could the victims have anticipated what would happen to them. There's no making sense of this," he told reporters.

McFee said he's heard rumours the attacks were race-based, but he said police have not uncovered any information to suggest that's the case.

McFee said the alleged stabber remains in hospital on life support.

He did not release the man's name, citing protocols about notifying his family about his condition, but did provide some information on his criminal history.

"I can confirm he was known to police, having a history dating back to 2009 that included multiple charges of assault with a weapon, robbery, and an incident last year involving a random assault on a 12-year-old child at an LRT station," McFee said.

"Though he has been in and out of jail on various charges, officers most recently interacted with him last month when he allegedly assaulted an individual with a scooter. He was brought before a judge and released with conditions and the charges were later stayed."

McFee said the man also has a history of mental health concerns.

"This clearly shows the intersection between health care and the justice system and how gaps in our current systems and supports can result in far-reaching tragedy."

"This is becoming far too common. There were multiple intervention points. Multiple opportunities to hold the suspect accountable and provide him the professional support necessary to manage his behaviour, but the system once again failed."

McFee also confirmed the suspect has a history of assault involving children.

"This individual has been charged at least four times for assaulting minors. It seems like obviously a continued behaviour. There was a serious incident he was involved with in Winnipeg, I think back in 2009. So absolutely, he's got a history of this."

He said the suspect lives in the area near the school, but police don't know if there was a particular reason he was in the area.

He also confirmed the man tried to gain access to the school before the stabbings.

"I want to be clear, we give full credit to the school administration for following protocols or this could have been a larger tragedy than it is today."

In addition to offering condolences to the family of the victims, McFee also thanked first responders who were at the call on Friday.

"I want to thank all of our first responders who were on site during this horrific event and have to live with this lasting impact. We are offering support to our EPS members," he said.

Edmonton Public Schools also confirmed on Saturday that counselling and support is being provided at the school.

McFee is one of the Canadian police chiefs who met with provincial leaders last month to discuss bail reform.

He reiterated that change is needed to stop violent crime in the city.

"Everyone in Edmonton should be impacted by this. Everyone in our city should feel the unthinkable loss of a mother and child. I know everyone at EPS does."

Autopsies for the two victims are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Top Stories

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