A Delta man has been charged in the stabbing of a woman and an off-duty police officer outside a private elementary school in the Lower Mainland.
Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon in relation to the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
At a news conference Thursday, Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord offered more details as to what occured that afternoon.
Just after 3 p.m., Acting Sergeant John Jasmins, who was at Immaculate Conception elementary school to pick up his children, witnessed an altercation between a man and a woman outside the school in North Delta.
As Jasmins tackled the suspect he sustained several stab wounds to the abdomen. Dubord noted that Jasmins was unarmed, having only his police ID with him.
Police began to receive 911 calls at 3:03 pm, and by 3:04 pm the first on-duty police officer arrived on scene. A suspect was identified and taken into custody by 3:06 pm. Dubord said DPD’s investigative bureau worked through the night on the investigation, processing the scene and interviewing witnesses.
A number of parents and staff at the school helped detain the suspect and administer first aid to Jasmins and the woman before police arrived. Dubord said the situation was under control within three minutes.
“We’d like to commend the actions of a number of members of the public who assisted during this event,” Dubord said in a press release. “I’ve said this many times — Delta is such a supportive community and you showed it again yesterday.”
“And of course I want to acknowledge our officer’s quick thinking and bravery. Investigators believe that if John hadn’t acted so quickly, the woman involved in this incident could have lost her life. He is a hero.”
Jasmins and the woman were rushed to hospital in a critical condition, but their conditions have since improved. Jasmins underwent surgery on Wednesday and is listed in a stable condition.
Dubord said he is alert and doing well, saying he is “very upbeat and anxious to get out of the hospital,” though he will have to stay there for at least a few more days.
The woman, a 41-year-old Delta resident, is improving but remains in serious condition.
No children were harmed in Wednesday’s incident.
At Thursday’s press conference, Dubord confirmed that the suspect and the injured woman were in a relationship and have one child who attends the school. He said police “were aware the marriage was dissolving” but were not aware of any violent behaviour.
The suspect was not known to police, has no criminal record and there wasn’t a restraining order in place against him.
Dubord also made a statement on behalf of Jasmins:
“He wanted to thank the staff at Immaculate Conception and the parents at the school who leapt in to help immediately. They called 911, providing the initial first aid to the woman who was injured and making sure the kids were looked after,” said Dubord.
He said Jasmins was grateful to Surrey RCMP, his wife, andespecially his children who were so brave and had the foresight and the composure to run to the nearest adult and direct them to call 911.
“John’s kids were actually coming out and were unfortunately witness to their dad being involved in the struggle. He wanted to make sure to thank his children who acted in a very brave manner.”
Though the school was closed on Thursday, the DPD victim services unit was at Immaculate Conception assisting staff, and will be at the school on Friday with their trauma dog Caber, to provide comfort and support when the children return to school.
Dubord noted the school also has support services available for staff and students.