Three people were stabbed at the Light Up Chinatown festival on Sunday evening in what appears to be an unprovoked attack.
According to Vancouver police, the stabbings occurred just before 6 p.m. when three festival-goers were attacked by a stranger near the main stage at Columbia and Keefer Streets.
Officers were nearby and provided aid to the victims, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Witnesses gave police a description of the suspect and a 60-year-old man was taken into custody nearby and is being held in jail.
The motive for the attack is unknown.
Light Up Chinatown is a free two-day outdoor festival with live performances, food trucks, lights and family activities.
Vancouver mayor Ken Sim released a statement on Sunday night following the stabbings.
“This weekend, Vancouver was celebrating Light Up Chinatown! — a festival which highlights the cultural diversity and rich communities our city has to offer.
“Earlier this evening, three people were attacked in Chinatown. Every single person who lives in or visits our city has a right to feel safe. To see individuals physically harmed by such senseless violence is heartbreaking. Our city stands shoulder to shoulder with Light up Chinatown!, our Chinese community and all those who participated today.
“Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by this act of violence. We wish all of those affected a speedy recovery, and offer our support to their families and loved ones.
“At this time, we would like to acknowledge and thank the Vancouver Police Department for their quick response to this incident, and for doing what they do each and every day to make our city a safer place.
“We will not allow this senseless act of violence to disrupt celebrations of all that makes our city great, and we will work each and every day to ensure Vancouver is a place where people can live, work and thrive in a safe environment.”
The festival is organized by the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, which is devoted to the revitalization of the neighbourhood.
Foundation Chair Carol Lee issued a statement after the attack, saying the safety and well-being of the community is the top priority, and the organization will work closely with the city as police conduct their investigation.
“We are heartbroken and devastated by the incident that transpired during the Light Up Chinatown! festival. On behalf of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, as well as the organizing committee and the community, our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.”
— with a file from Canadian Press
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