Update, 2 p.m. (EDT): This story has been updated to include new information about the suspect and victim.
A doctor was killed in a violent attack at a walk-in clinic in Alberta, by a man who allegedly wielded a hammer and machete, according to a witness.
Dr. Walter Reynolds, a father of two, died in hospital following the attack on Monday morning at Village Mall clinic in Red Deer, about an hour-and a-half drive from Edmonton, according to CBC News.
Anina Mullin told several news outlets she was at the clinic with her 13-year-old daughter when she heard banging and screams for help coming from an examination room.
That’s when a receptionist asked for help and two male patients volunteered, said Mullin.
According to Mullin, the two men checked in on the examination room and one of them said, “He’s beating him with a hammer in the head!” before both men turned around and ran. “They just started booting it, and I just started running, because I knew that it wasn’t good.”
Mullin said she grabbed her daughter and ran out of the clinic, then waited in her car and watched everything unfold from outside.
According to Mullin, the two men ran out and pushed on the clinic’s door from the outside to prevent the suspect from escaping.
The RCMP, Canada’s federal police force, said in a statement that officers arrived within two to three minutes of receiving an emergency call about the clinic. The arrest was made within five minutes.
Mullin said a bloody hammer was thrown at police before it flew out the door and landed outside of the clinic. She said police then called on the suspect to put a machete down and then nine or 10 officers rushed inside the clinic. Shortly after, officers led the man out.
Mullin said the man was “huge”—at least 6 feet tall—and wearing a grey hoodie and sweatpants, as well as a disposable face mask that sat on his chin. He was covered in blood and was smirking “like he could care less about what had just happened,” she told several news organizations. Her family doctor, his top half soaked in blood, was brought out in a stretcher shortly after.
The RCMP initially reported an assault with an unspecified weapon, but later upgraded the investigation to a homicide. One officer was treated for minor injuries after a blunt object struck him during the arrest, the RCMP said.
Deng Mabiour, a 54-year-old man from Red Deer, is facing “several charges,” including first-degree murder, assaulting an officer, as well as assault with a weapon. CBC reported he is due to appear in Red Deer Provincial Court on Wednesday and has no prior criminal record.
Supt. Gerald Grobmeier, Red Deer RCMP detachment commander, told reporters on Tuesday that the attack was not random, but targeted.
“An individual went in with a goal, so it wasn’t a random attack; he went into the clinic with that person,” Grobmeier said, adding that the doctor and suspect knew each other.
Grobmeier did not confirm whether a machete and hammer were on scene.
Veer said several witnesses, including clinic staff, patients, and bystanders at Village Mall, were at the scene, and urged them to call Red Deer City Victim Services if they’re suffering from trauma.
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