The man allegedly responsible for the triple stabbing at a festival in Vancouver’s Chinatown was reportedly on day release from a psychiatric facility at the time of the incident.
About the victims: A married couple in their 60s and a woman in her 20s were attacked during the “Light Up Chinatown!” festival on Sunday evening near the festival’s main stage, where hundreds had gathered. The victims sustained “serious but non-life-threatening” injuries and are reportedly in stable condition. All three victims are ethnically Asian, and investigators are probing whether the attack had any elements of hate or racism.
About the suspect: According to Vancouver Police Department Chief Const. Adam Palmer, 64-year-old Blair Evan Donnelly was apprehended shortly after the stabbing incident and charged with three counts of aggravated assault on Monday. Court records indicate that Donnelly was on a day pass from the forensic psychiatric institution at the time of the attack.
Donnelly had been admitted to the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in 2008 after being charged but found not criminally responsible for the second-degree murder of his 16-year-old daughter in 2006. The recent review board’s decision in April allowed Donnelly to have escorted and unescorted access to the community, based on his mental condition.
Impact on the community: Carol Lee, chairwoman of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, which co-organizes the annual festival, condemned the incident and lamented the impact of the attack on the community.
“(We) thought things were normal, but it’s a good reminder that there are a lot of things that are in play in Chinatown,” Lee was quoted as saying. “We’re going to have setbacks along the way. But I think that we’re on the right path, and it will take us time to sort of regroup (for) what will come next.”
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the determination to make Chinatown a safer and better place.