Sunday March 28, 2021 | NORTH VANCOUVER, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
IHIT File: 2021-376 | Anyone with information is asked to contact the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) at 1-877-551-4448 or email email@example.com or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
In Canada we might think of mass stabbings/shootings as happening in USA or anywhere else. But the same stressors on people who are likely mentally distressed are prevalent in Canada too. Today’s shocking incident in North Vancouver brings this to light.
Seven people were injured and one fatally wounded in a stabbing incident in the Lynn Valley area of North Vancouver yesterday Saturday March 27. Six injured persons received wounds of varying severity and were taken to hospital; the woman who died was in her late 20s.
The suspect was apparently known to police and had a criminal record. The suspect was arrested at the scene on Saturday afternoon.
The suspect’s identity was made known on Sunday March 28 around 2:17 pm in a news release to media.
RCMP identified Yannick Bandaogo, age 28, as the attacker. He has been charged with second-degree murder. The attacker stabbed himself after attacking his victims.
“One man has been arrested and is currently in police custody,” it was stated in a release from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) this evening at 7:50 pm last night.
Today it was stated that the suspect had undergone surgery for self-inflicted wounds and is in police custody.
Investigators do not believe there is any ongoing risk to the public, as they see this is as an isolated incident by one person (not organized with or by a larger group).
“This is a deeply profound and tragic incident that has shaken all of us,” says Inspector Michelle Tansey, Acting Officer-in-Charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
“I commend our investigators and partners for the remarkable work they have done and continue to do under challenging circumstances. My sincere condolences to yesterday’s victims and their families and to all who have been affected by this crime,” she said in a statement.
“We share the community’s grief and outrage,” says Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani, Officer-in-Charge of the North Vancouver RCMP. “Lynn Valley Library is a peaceful place, a place where our community comes to learn and our children come to explore. The RCMP is committed to keeping you safe,” said Bhayani in a statement.
Update to community on Monday:
IHIT media relations officer Sgt Frank Jang has advised media that there will be an update to the community held on Monday March 29 at the Lynn Valley Library with the North Vancouver Detachment Commander Superintendent Ghalib Bhayani and Acting Officer-in-Charge of IHIT, Insp Michelle Tansey. District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little is also expected to attend.
“This afternoon a police incident took place outside the Lynn Valley Library’s entrance. We are thinking of everyone affected by this terrible situation, both victims and their families,” it was stated by the North Vancouver District Library yesterday.
“All library staff and volunteers are safe and are grateful for the quick action of the first responders. The library will remain closed until further notice.”
Also tweeted by the library: “All library staff and volunteers are safe and are grateful for the quick action of the first responders.”
Mass shootings and stabbing are not as common in Canada as in the USA, but stressors brought on by the pandemic over the past year may be part of pressure that pushes people with mentally unstable inclinations to go past their boundaries.
There was the mass shooting in Nova Scotia last year during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that saw a mentally unstable man (who had been planning the event for years evidently) to go on a rampage.
The event today is shocking to everyone, and particularly at such a normally quiet and peaceful setting. As one person posted on Twitter this evening: “A library, a place of learning, peace and community. Not today.”
Seeing the warning signs:
The policing system knows about criminals in their files, but it’s unclear how much they keep on top of the activities of the ones who are likely to re-offend. Today’s incident might be found to be that of the system failing to flag behaviour (and ownership of weapons) that was likely to lead to trouble.
Today Retired RCMP Investigator Linda Gillis Davidson said in a national TV interview that these events are “not so random”. She says people think they’re random because they’re “not tied to conspiracies”. But she said these perpetrators “plan for days, weeks, months…”.
Davidson sees these eventual killing sprees as “a failure in prevention, early engagement and ongoing engagement”. She continued: “We’re not doing what we need to do to help out these (individuals).” She says there should be background checks, that “people missed the indicators”.
“We have to be interested in these people. We are in their lives. They need ongoing care. The health care people — despite with theri hearts in the right place — are not given the tools (to resolve the issues of would-be offenders),” said Davidson. She says society needs to “get involved” and “start helping”.
School district attention:
The same lack of ‘flagging’ of troubled individuals might be levied at school districts who didn’t seem to see the risk in the killers of Kimberly Proctor (a student within SD62) who in 2010 was murdered by two teen classmates who lured, raped and murdered her, and Reena Virk (a student within SD61) who in 1997 was swarmed by six teens who knew her, and was drowned by being held under water.
At least the Virk case brought some national attention to bullying, which was poorly addressed back at that time in 1997 but the counselling system in schools has generally been slow to catch up to social demand.
Though the SD79 response to the teen fatally stabbed in Duncan earlier this month was to provide immediate support for the broader school community.
Sunny Saturday mass stabbing incident in North Vancouver (Island Social Trends, March 27, 2021)
North Vancouver District Library (including Lynn Valley branch) website
Fatal stabbing of teen in Duncan, with SD79 offering support (March 2, 2021)