The driver of a Winnipeg Transit bus was killed Tuesday in a knife attack at the University of Manitoba.
The incident occurred at approximately 1:55 am on Dafoe Street, in the middle of the campus.
According to the police, 58-year-old driver Irvine Fraser had just finished his last journey when he was stabbed by a 22-year-old man who was the only passenger on the bus.
The victim was taken to hospital in a critical condition, where he died of his injuries.
“He was always happy. He was always in a good mood, “recalls Nelson Giesbrecht, a bus driver who has worked with Irvine Fraser for over 15 years.
— DenisMichelThibeault (@dmthibeault) February 14, 2017
All I know is that my colleague was killed for the simple reason that he was doing his job.
The suspect is currently in detention. No charges have yet been laid.
The investigation into the circumstances leading up to the attack is ongoing.
Policeman falls in the Red River
According to the Chief of the Winnipeg Police Service, Danny Smyth, officers were on the scene a few minutes later and witnesses told them that the suspect had fled to the Red River.
A member of the canine unit intercepted the suspect as he attempted to cross the river on foot. The man was arrested and detained.
Later, the same officer returned to the river to spot and preserve possible exhibits. It is at this point that the agent has passed through the ice.
“Thanks to the quick thinking and actions of our members who were there, we were able to prevent this tragedy from getting worse,” says Dmitry Smyth.
The officer was removed from the water and was not injured
The University offers its condolences
In a post published on the University of Manitoba website, President David Barnard offered his condolences to the Irvine Fraser family and to all Winnipeg Transit employees.
“We thank the members of the Winnipeg Transit, who provide an invaluable service to our community on a daily basis. We want them to remain safe, “says Barnard, adding that the suspect” has no obvious connection with the University of Manitoba. ”
In addition, a group of students launched a socio-funding campaign to provide support to the Irvine Fraser family.
Violence aboard buses
Violence against bus drivers has already been discussed at City Hall, notably in 2015 when the United Transportation Union, representing the Winnipeg Transit drivers , lamented a 54% Number of violent acts committed against its members.
Since 2016, plainclothes policemen and cadets have been taking part in certain routes and shelters in the Manitoba capital to ensure their safety.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says he is working with the United Transportation Union to ensure a safe transit system.
“We will continue to explore ways to ensure the safety of all people traveling by bus, including drivers,” said Mayor Bowman.
In addition, the Criminal Code was amended in 2015 to make punishment of acts against drivers of transit vehicles more severe.