By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Police in Manitoba were working Thursday to make sense of the discovery of two bodies in different homes and a brazen stabbing in a crowded hospital atrium.
“It’s not often that we have three massive events that are related, so there’s a lot to piece together at this time,” Winnipeg Police Service Const. Dani McKinnon said.
RCMP said they first found a 73-year-old woman dead in the Rural Municipality of Hanover, south of the capital, on Wednesday and had information that a suspect was headed to Winnipeg.
A short time later, officers responded to a stabbing at the Seven Oaks General Hospital, where a staff member in her 60s was seriously injured.
The alleged attacker was an employee at the hospital who was not on shift at the time, said Mike Nader, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
Nader said he did not know a reason for the attack. The victim was not a direct supervisor of the suspect.
The victim was “down in the atrium, having a chat with one of their colleagues — and wrong place, wrong time,” he said.
Part of the attack was briefly heard over the hospital intercom, he added.
“As the incident was occurring, one of the staff members called what’s called a code blue — which is to say that there’s an injured individual — and so some people throughout the hospital were able to hear what was going on at that time.”
Police were already looking in the area for the suspect in the Hanover killing and arrived quickly. Hospital staff had subdued the attacker, Nader said.
A man in his 30s was taken into custody. Hours later, police went to a home in Winnipeg and found the body of a man in his 70s.
The suspect was known to all three victims, but neither the RCMP nor Winnipeg police would provide details about their relationships.
There was no comment on a possible motive.
Nader said health-care workers have faced increasing abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. He later said he was not implying a connection to the stabbing.
“We’ve gone from a situation where people have been out in their yards, banging their pots and pans, saying, ‘We support you’ … to a situation now where more and more health-care workers are facing abuse and frustration.”
RCMP said the suspect was being medically assessed Thursday and no charges had been laid.