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Neighbours see man attack woman on night of White Rock homicide

Police remained on scene Monday morning in the 900-block of Ash Street where a homicide took place Sunday. - Sarah Massah photo
Police remained on scene Monday morning in the 900-block of Ash Street where a homicide took place Sunday.
— image credit: Sarah Massah photo

A White Rock neighbourhood is reeling following a homicide and two other attacks steps away from their homes Sunday evening.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the death of a man in the 900-block of Ash Street, and police are recommending charges of second-degree murder and two counts of assault causing bodily harm.

The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team have identified neither the accused nor the 61-year-old victim – who was pronounced dead at the scene – as of Monday afternoon. Police would not release the cause of death.

Two women were injured and police say knives and other objects were seen being thrown from the balcony of the home where the man died. IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound said in a news release shortly after noon Monday that the attacker fled on foot, but that the accused was apprehended by White Rock police a short time later

According to the release, several 911 calls came into police as a result of the dispute. When White Rock police arrived, two injured women and one injured man (who later died) were located inside the house.

One neighbour, who lives across the street from the home where the incident took place, told Peace Arch News Monday morning that there was a heated altercation between a young man and woman on the street at approximately 7 p.m. Sunday.

“They were screaming at each other and he was beating her up, smashing her head in the pavement,” she said, asking not to be identified.

Another neighbour walked by with her dog and yelled at the man to stop, however, the attacker produced a knife and threatened the passerby, the witness said.

Shortly after, the man ran back into the house and was “throwing knives at the people inside,” she said.

“Then a man ran out of the house asking if anyone knew CPR,” she said, noting that when ambulance and police arrived, neighbours assumed it was for the injured woman.

“It was just horrifying. We’re all in our homes having dinner and we heard screaming, and we just thought it was kids screaming and playing… Our first reaction, when everything had taken place, was that someone had just gotten injured. We didn’t know that for three hours it was a murder.

“When we found out, at first, we thought it was the girl who died.”

After multiple attempts to find out details Sunday night, the witness flagged down an officer to make sure there no immediate threat to residents.

“I had been hearing reports that the person took off and police were looking for him,” she said. “The police officer told me, ‘all I can say is that everyone is accounted for.’”

She noted that police stayed overnight in the area and were still on scene when she left for work early Monday.

“I told one of the officers that I was watching the morning news and they’re not making it clear what happened and that our neighbourhood is terrified,” she said. “The officer told me not to worry and that everyone is accounted for and no one is at large.

“I know it’s a one in a million kind of thing (for someone to come back), but when a death occurs, it inflicts fear.”

Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to police is asked to contact IHIT at 1877-551-4448 or, to remain anonymous, to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

 

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