British Columbia Premier David Eby says he is “white-hot” angry over the day release of a man from a forensic psychiatric hospital before he was arrested for a triple stabbing in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Eby said the decision to release the man boggles the mind, and he wants to get to the bottom of how it occurred.
He said the government “will ensure an independent person looks into the specifics of this case. The decision-making process. How we arrived at this awful place.”
He added that work on that was “already underway.”
Blair Evan Donnelly, who’s 64 years old, has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault and remains in custody after Sunday’s attack at the Light Up Chinatown! festival.
Donnelly was found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder for stabbing his teenage daughter to death in 2006. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital, but Eby said the man was released in 2009 and “went out and stabbed somebody else.”
Then Donnelly was released again before Sunday’s attack.
The premier said many resources were put into the community celebration in Chinatown and just five minutes before it ended the “horrific event” occurred.
“I am so angry. I am white-hot angry that this person was released unaccompanied into the community to have a devastating impact on all the hard work of all these community members,” Eby said.
“I cannot fathom how someone who murdered his daughter was released in 2009, went out and stabbed somebody else, would then be released again, unaccompanied, somehow able to go out and buy a knife, go to Chinatown and stab three people. How is that possible?”
Eby said he wants to assure the victims, their families and all others affected by the stabbing that his government will determine how it happened and do everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
A man and woman in their 60s and a woman in her 20s suffered severe but non-life-threatening injuries in Sunday’s attack.