Vancouver Police investigates random stabbing in downtown coffee shop

Random stabbing at shop

Rob Gibson

***warning disturbing content and video***

Vancouver Police have released shocking video footage of what appears to be a completely unprovoked attack at a downtown Vancouver coffee shop, which sent a 25-year-old man to hospital.

The attack took place Saturday at approximately 6:20 a.m. inside the Tim Hortons at Harbour Centre, near Seymour and West Hastings Street. The victim, a newcomer to Canada, was waiting in line when the suspect approached from behind and repeatedly stabbed him in the back and shoulder before running out of the store.

The victim suffered serious and life-threatening injuries, but was taken to hospital for treatment and is now expected to survive.

“This disturbing incident has all the hallmarks of a random attack that came completely without warning, and we’re increasingly worried about the public’s safety,” says Sergeant Steve Addison. “We need anyone who witnessed this assault to come forward, and we urge anyone who recognizes the suspect to call police.”

The suspect is described as a male in his 20's, about 6’2", with short black hair and a slim build. He was wearing a grey hoodie that had a black hood and sleeves, grey and black stone-washed jeans, and black running shoes with white soles. The suspect also had a black and white facemask with a Crooks and Castles logo, and a black and grey backpack.

“We don’t know if there was a motive for this attack, and the fact that it appears random and unprovoked is extremely concerning,” says Sergeant Addison, adding the victim and suspect did not know each other and did not appear to have any significant interactions before the attack.

Saturday’s stabbing occurred just three days after VPD released security video showing the unprovoked attack on a 22-year-old woman outside Hotel Georgia on New Year’s Eve – an incident that re-ignited the conversation about public safety in the downtown Vancouver core in light of data that shows, on average, more than four people a day are victimized in unprovoked stranger assaults.

“We recognize these incidents cause significant anxiety and trepidation in the community,” adds Sergeant Addison. "However, it’s important that we talk about them so we can solve these crimes and people can make informed decisions about their personal safety.”

VPD’s Major Crime Section is leading the investigation related to Saturday’s stabbing. Anyone with information is asked to call 604-717-2541.

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