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B.C. appoints former Abbotsford police chief to investigate circumstances of Chinatown stabbing

Premier David Eby announced Thursday afternoon former Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich will investigate the circumstances around the Chinatown stabbing that happened on Sept. 10.

The random triple stabbing took place at the Light Up Chinatown festival Sunday evening, and left three people with non-life-threatening injuries.

Blair Evan Donnelly, 64, has since been charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

According to the Vancouver Police Department, Donnelly was on a day pass from a Lower Mainland forensic psychiatric centre when the incident occurred.

“This man has a long record of engaging in exactly this kind of conduct,” Eby said. “I still do not have the answer about how he was released, despite it being apparent that he presented a really significant danger to the public, which was realized at the end of a beautiful community cultural celebration.”

Eby says he’s asked Rich to “get to the bottom of what happened here” as quickly as possible.

Rich, who retired in 2018, dealt with a double stabbing at a high school and the death of a constable in the line of duty, during his time as police chief.

Eby says he has great confidence in Rich’s ability to deliver British Columbians the answers they deserve following this incident.

“The core question of how a violent, psychotic individual was released into the community to attack innocent people, is the question that needs to be answered,” he said.

“We will ensure that Mr. Rich has access to all of the documents and individuals that he needs access to in order to be able to share details with British Columbians about how it could possibly be that this man was released into our communities without warning, unaccompanied, able to attend a major event and attack innocent people.”

The charges against Donnelly have not been proven in court.

More to come.

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