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‘Grief and outrage’ after North Vancouver stabbings: senior RCMP officer


VANCOUVER — A senior RCMP officer says the department shares the community’s “grief and outrage” after a stabbing rampage left a young woman dead and six others injured on Saturday at a library in North Vancouver, B.C.

“Lynn Valley Library is a peaceful place. A place where our community comes to learn and our children come to explore,” said Supt. Ghalib Bhayani of the North Vancouver RCMP in a written statement.

A 28-year-old man was charged Sunday with second-degree murder. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Yannick Bandaogo is in police custody after undergoing surgery for self-inflicted wounds.

Bandaogo was scheduled to appear in court via phone Monday morning, but an RCMP officer said he refused to leave his cell to participate.

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Police have not named the woman who died, but said she was in her 20s.

Six others were injured in the attack in and around the Lynn Valley Public Library. Police said their injuries vary in severity and all six are expected to survive.

In a written statement, Sgt. Frank Jang said police planned to hold a news conference today. IHIT investigators spent Sunday combing the area for evidence and interviewing witnesses, he said.

Susie Chant, member of the B.C. legislature for North Vancouver-Seymour, said she arrived at the scene shortly after paramedics on Saturday.

“I saw victims being stabilized, people trying to help each other to be calm,” she said in an interview on Sunday after laying a wreath outside the library.

The pile of flowers and wreaths left just outside the caution tape cordoning off the crime scene grew throughout the day as residents stopped by.

“I think this just so illustrates how much of a community we are,” Chant said. “Lynn Valley in specific, and North Van in general, is a place where the community cares for each other and wants to do the right thing.”

Mark Pearmain, the superintendent of the North Vancouver School District, said in a statement that one of the victims of Sunday’s attack is a teacher at Argyle Secondary School.

Pearmain said the teacher is expected to make a full recovery.

“We are aware of other members of our parent/guardian community that were also directly impacted by this incident. Furthermore, a number of students were in the area and witnessed the incident unfold and will be indirectly impacted by the experience,” he said. “Our thoughts go out to all members of the (school district) community who has been affected by this tragedy.”

According to Quebec court records, a Yannick Bandaogo who was listed at the time as living in Gatineau, Que., and who was born on the same day as the suspect in 1993, failed to appear in court on two occasions last year, resulting in warrants being issued for his arrest.

The scheduled court appearances in July and September 2020 were in relation to alleged breaches of conditions imposed following previous infractions.

In September 2019, Bandaogo had pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon causing bodily harm.

A year earlier, Bandaogo was sentenced in October 2018 to one month in jail for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest in Longueuil, Que., a suburb of Montreal. On the same day, he was also sentenced to four months for assault causing bodily harm and three months in connection with two other assault cases.

Alain Boismenu, the owner of a Longueuil boxing gym where Bandaogo trained for about a decade, said he was shocked when he found out his former student had been charged in a British Columbia attack.

“I just about fell off my chair,” Boismenu said of learning his former student had been charged.

“It’s not the same Yannick I knew at the gym, where we were a big family. We won together, we lost together.”

Boismenu said the young man was committed to boxing, sometimes coming twice a day to train. But he said he hadn’t seen Bandaogo for about three years and had been told through a mutual friend that he hadn’t been doing well.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2021.

— With files from Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2021.