A man who was stabbed at an Edmonton bus stop on Thursday morning had arrived in Canada from Ukraine just days ago, a friend confirmed to CTV News Edmonton.
According to the Edmonton Police Service, the man — identified by a friend as 48-year-old Ivan Pylypchuk — was “sitting by himself at a bus stop enjoying his morning coffee” when he was stabbed by a stranger.
He was taken to hospital with injuries that were described as serious.
Investigators are calling the stabbing at 6:15 a.m. a random attack.
The suspect ran away from the bus stop at 38 Avenue and Millbourne Road in southeast Edmonton after.
The police investigation took officers to Millbourne Market Mall on the other side of the city block, but the suspect was not found there either, an EPS spokesperson told CTV News at 12:45 p.m.
According to EPS, the victim called 911 himself before collapsing.
Nearby civilians helped him until emergency responders arrived.
SEARCHING FOR A PEACEFUL LIFE
Pylypchuk’s childhood friend Leo Leshchinsky spoke to CTV News Edmonton about his friend from his office in Ontario Thursday afternoon.
He said Pylypchuk called him after he had been stabbed and asked him to get in touch with his wife, who speaks very little English.
The couple and their nine-year-old daughter arrived in Edmonton a week-and-a-half ago after fleeing the violence in Ukraine.
Leshchinsky said Pylypchuk had obtained a work visa and was on his way to a construction job when he was stabbed. He started the job on April 3.
He is the sole provider for the family, Leshchinsky said.
After leaving a warzone at home, Leshchinsky said he can’t believe his friend encountered such violence in Canada.
“I was in shock. I don’t know how to explain it. You see the stories on the news sometimes and you never believe that something like that can touch you,” he commented.
“People that just came — they’re looking for good life here and perhaps work and raising their daughter and having a peaceful life.”
Leshchinsky said Pylypchuk underwent surgery after arriving in hospital. As of Friday morning, Leschinsky said his friend was in a lot of pain, but stable.
“I really appreciate whatever can donate: $5, $10.”
He’s also hoping to find temporary housing for the family, who is currently living in a south Edmonton hotel.
REACTION TO STABBING
Residents of Millbourne say they’re on edge after the attack.
“It makes me feel very uneasy and especially having a small child, and we walk to and from school every day. It really kind of makes you think about the neighbourhood you’re living in and wonder what’s going to be done about it,” community member Alicia Aubin said.
“The reason I don’t take the bus is because I don’t feel safe to take the bus, honestly… Because you just don’t know if you’re going to be another target.”
The attack was one of several recent violent crimes in Alberta’s cities referenced by federal conservative leader Pierre Poilievre on Thursday during a news conference in Alberta’s capital city.
He blamed bail rules, which he says free repeat offenders too quickly, for the rise in crime and called for more police resources across Canada.
Source: CTV News