March 11, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 84  

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Stabbing shakes up U of Alberta

By Dave Ward
Gazette Staff

Edmonton police are investigating the stabbing of a student on the University of Alberta campus.

“Detectives from the South Division Criminal Investigation Section continue to investigate an attack on an 18-year-old male student at the campus,” said Wes Bellmore, a spokesperson for the Edmonton Police Service.

“Three men were seen on the second floor of the Cameron Library going from cubicle to cubicle apparently looking for somebody,” he explained. “Two of the men reportedly attacked the victim with small clubs, and the third man stabbed the victim with a long knife.”

The attack took place Tuesday around noon. Afterwards the victim made his own way to a health clinic at a nearby building and was then transported by ambulance to the U of A hospital, he added.

“I think there was a fair amount of excitement when [the victim] ran across campus,” said Gretchen Hess, vice-provost for U of A.

“The victim remains in hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Investigators are currently following up some public tips that have been received,” Bellmore said.

“The assailants and the victim were known to each other, we’re pretty sure of that; we think it was students involved,” Hess said. “If you had a random stabbing, that would frighten people more.”

“It was rather shocking to hear that anything like this would happen at a library, especially a campus library with so many people around,” said Claire Callaghan, director of the D.B. Weldon Library at Western.

“Hearing about this particular case [has] heightened my awareness of security at Weldon,” she said. “We think about security all the time, especially with the number of people [using Weldon] and with the library now open until 2 a.m..”

Callaghan said she met with campus police last year to discuss implementing a surveillance camera at the entrance to Weldon. She said this incident “might be an opportune time to look at other security measures.”

Elgin Austen, spokesperson for the Campus Community Police Service at Western, said targeted incidents like the one at U of A usually involve people who were having problems before.

According to Austen, this sort of incident happens when people do not come forward for assistance prior to the problem escalating into violence.

“At Western, we would hope that if a person feels unsafe they would come forward,” he said, adding there would be a proactive response from campus police and other authorities on campus.



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