A man arrested in connection with a stabbing at Winnipeg’s Seven Oaks General Hospital on Wednesday is also believed to be linked to two homicides discovered that day, police say.
The first incident was discovered around 12:40 p.m. CT Wednesday when RCMP in St. Pierre-Jolys were called to a well-being check at a home in New Bothwell, a small community about 40 kilometres south of Winnipeg.
The call came from a concerned acquaintance of the resident, Manitoba RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Julie Courchaine said at a joint news conference with the Winnipeg Police Service on Thursday afternoon.
Officers discovered a 73-year-old woman dead. A man known to the woman was identified as a suspect. By 1:30 p.m.. police believed he had travelled to Winnipeg, Courchaine said, adding the information was then relayed to police in the city.
“So obviously, it was unfolding very quickly,” she said.
Around 2:30 p.m., Winnipeg police determined the man might have been in the area of Leila Avenue and McPhillips Street, Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Const. Dani McKinnon said at the news conference. On their way there, officers got a report of a stabbing at Seven Oaks General Hospital, which is located at that intersection.
Officers found a woman in her 60s there who was seriously injured. She was hospitalized in critical condition, and remains in serious condition.
The woman was previously identified as a staff member at the hospital. A spokesperson for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said she was attacked in the atrium near the building’s main entrance on Leila Avenue.
A Winnipeg man in his 30s was arrested and safely taken into custody, McKinnon said.
Later that evening, RCMP went to the 300 block of Toronto Street in Winnipeg, near St. Matthews Avenue, in connection with the initial homicide investigation. There, they found the body of man in his 70s, who is also believed to be the victim of a homicide.
Both police forces are investigating all three incidents and believe they may be related, McKinnon said. Police believe the man knew all three victims but would not confirm how.
No charges have been laid and the suspect is currently undergoing medical assessment in hospital, McKinnon said.
‘Just the tip of the iceberg’
The spokesperson would not speculate on what the man’s motive for the alleged incidents may have been.
“This investigation is still in its infancy. Charges have not been laid at this time, so really this is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.
“It’s not often that we have three massive events that are related, so there’s a lot to piece together here.”
Police also did well-being checks to confirm the safety “of any other potential victims,” McKinnon said.
It’s not believed there are any further victims and investigators aren’t looking for any other suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Winnipeg Police Service homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or the RCMP major crime services tip line at 431-489-8105.