Canada bus attack leaves man decapitated
Friday 01st August, 07:48 AM JST
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba —
A man aboard a Greyhound bus traveling across Canada calmly stabbed another man dozens of times and decapitated him, pausing briefly to display the head to horrified passengers before proceeding to disembowel his victim, witnesses said Thursday.
Passengers fled the bus in panic, and police said later their quick evacuation may have kept the killer from turning on others.
A 40-year-old man, who was not identified, was arrested for the murder on the bus, which was traveling overnight Wednesday from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt Steve Colwell told a news conference.
Colwell said police apprehended the man when he broke a window and tried to escape from the bus by jumping out. Authorities declined to name the victim and provided little details about the stabbing.
Colwell said they didn’t know what prompted the attack and said they had not yet interviewed the man as of mid Thursday afternoon. He did not explain the delay.
Passengers said the attacker did not seem to know the victim, who appeared to be about 19 years old, and that he wore sunglasses throughout the attack although it was the middle of the night.
Passenger Garnet Caton said the victim was sleeping with headphones on before he was stabbed 40 or 50 times by the man sitting next to him.
“We heard this bloodcurdling scream and turned around, and the guy was standing up, stabbing this guy repeatedly, like 40 or 50 times,” Caton said from a hotel in Brandon, Manitoba, where he and other passengers had been taken to rest.
Caton said the bus stopped and the passengers scrambled to disembark while the suspect allegedly began methodically carving up the man’s body.
The attacker severed the man’s head with a large hunting knife and held the head up by the door for others to see.
“When he was attacking him, he was calm ... like he was at the beach,” Caton said. “There was no rage or, or anything. He was just like a robot stabbing the guy.”
Caton said he saw the suspect had the victim on the floor of the bus and “was cutting his head off and pretty much gutting him.”
Caton said that the attacker eventually tried to get off the bus, but that he, the driver and a passing trucker who had stopped to help, threw their weight against the door to prevent the man from leaving. When the attacker appeared to be attempting to start up the bus and drive away, the bus driver went to the rear of the bus and somehow disabled it, Caton said.
Fellow passenger Cody Olmstead said the man “dropped the head and went back and started cutting the body back up.”
Olmstead said the man later taunted police, who had surrounded the bus, and dropped the head in front of them.
He said some of the passengers were watching the movie “Zorro” when the attack took place.
Greyhound spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said 37 passengers and one driver were on the bus.
The victim had been on the bus since Edmonton. Caton said the attacker boarded the bus around Brandon, Manitoba, about 130 kilometers west of Portage La Prairie, a town in the heart of the Canadian Prairies.
The suspect had been on the bus for about an hour and didn’t even sit near his victim at first.
“He sat in the front at first, everything was normal,” Caton said.
He continued: “We went to the next stop and he got off and had a smoke with another young lady there. When he got on the bus again, he came to the back near where I was sitting. He put his bags in the overhead compartment. He didn’t say a word to anybody. He seemed totally normal. About a half an hour later, we heard this bloodcurdling scream.”
Colwell, the RCMP spokesman, praised the passengers for their behavior.
“It’s not something that happens regularly on a bus,” he said. “You’re sitting there enjoying your trip and then all of a sudden somebody gets stabbed. I imagine it would be pretty traumatic ... the way they acted was extraordinary.”
Colwell added that “they reacted swiftly, calmly in exiting the bus and, as a result, nobody else was injured.”
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day called it a “horrific” incident, but did not discuss details of the attack, saying he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.
“We want to make sure that the process is followed as aggressively as possible, a full legal process, and the perpetrator is definitely dealt with the full force of the law,” he said.
Day called it bizarre and extremely rare.
“The horrific nature of it is probably one-of-a-kind in Canadian history,” Day said.