UPDATE 5:45 p.m.
RCMP in Nanaimo, B.C., say they've arrested a suspect after a 30-year-old man was struck with the blunt end of an axe blade over the weekend.
Police say in a statement the man suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the attack in the parking lot of the Port Place Mall on Saturday.
The Mounties say witnesses told officers that the victim and suspect knew each other and had been seen arguing before the incident.
They say the suspect ran off after hitting the victim, taking the axe with him, and he couldn't be found despite a search with the help from police dog services.
RCMP say a 39-year-old man was arrested Monday and charges of assault with a weapon are expected to follow shortly.
The man hit with the axe was treated for his injuries in hospital.
The Canadian Press
ORIGINAL 7:35 a.m.
Nanaimo RCMP are searching for a man who viciously injured another man with an axe Saturday evening in the parking lot of Port Place mall.
Around 5 p.m., police received a report that two men had been having a disagreement and one man took an axe and struck the other man in the back of the head.
Initially, police and paramedics thought the man, who had life-threatening injuries, would have to be flown to Victoria or Vancouver for medical treatment, said RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien. But he was stabilized and remains in hospital in Nanaimo.
The attacker fled the scene with the axe.
“Both men are known to each other. They are marginalized and unhoused,” said O’Brien. “We don’t know why they were arguing. But it’s vicious, just terrible.”
Police know the identity of the suspected attacker. “We are confident he will be in custody soon,” O’Brien said.