Canadian Police Say Man Who Stabbed Officer, Hit 4 Pedestrians With Car Had ISIS Flag

Edmonton Police investigate at the scene where a man hit pedestrians then flipped the U-Haul truck he was driving, pictured at the intersection at 107 Street and 100th Avenue in front of the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Candace Elliott

Canadian police say a man driving a white car struck a police officer and stabbed him multiple times outside a football stadium Saturday.

Hours later, police say, the same man — this time driving a U-Haul truck — was pulled over a few miles away, drove off and struck four pedestrians.

The related attacks on Saturday night in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, Canada, are being investigated as an act of terrorism, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said during a news conference early Sunday. He said an Islamic State flag was found in the passenger seat of the white Chevrolet Malibu the suspect was driving that night.

The suspect, a 30-year-old Edmonton man who has not been named, has been arrested. Knecht said the man acted alone, but investigators were not ruling out the possibility that others may be involved. The officer’s injuries were not critical, Knecht said, adding that he does not have any information about the other victims’ conditions.

The attacks began just after 8 p.m. during a football game at the Commonwealth Stadium. The officer was standing behind barricades and directing traffic outside the venue when the man rammed his Malibu into the barricades and struck the officer, sending him 15 feet into the air, Edmonton police said.

The man then got out of his car, “viciously” stabbed the officer with a knife and ran away, police said.

Less than four hours later, just before midnight, a U-Haul truck was pulled over about four miles away. An officer recognized that the driver’s name was similar to that of the registered owner of the Chevrolet Malibu, police said. The man immediately drove away, leading officers on a chase toward downtown Edmonton as he deliberately hit pedestrians on the way, police said.

The chase ended after the truck flipped over and landed on its side.

A witness, Austin Elgie, a manager of a bar in the downtown area, said the van “peeled” into an alley where people were smoking and struck a customer.

“There were like 10 cop cars following him . . . It was crazy,” Elgie told the Associated Press. “It just came around the corner, ripping. I thought at first he was pulling over for the cops coming by, but he was clearly the one they were chasing.”

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Kristine Phillips