Four days after a triple stabbing left two men dead downtown Chilliwack, no one is in custody and the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) says the public is not at risk.
“We are still in a very crucial stage in the investigation,” IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Meghan Foster said Tuesday. “If there was any reason to notify the public of a safety issue we would do so.”
This despite the fact that a number of people, including one witness, report to The Progress that both men killed were innocent bystanders who attempted to intervene to stop assaults on other individuals.
When asked about this, and whether it was in fact Good Samaritans who died, Foster wouldn’t say.
“What I can say is we have multiple investigative theories for which we are still collecting evidence. If there are people in the community that have information they should contact us.”
Foster confirmed that as of Tuesday afternoon, no one is in custody but that IHIT is speaking with “persons of interest,” a term that describes suspects, witnesses, and others who may have information about what happened.
It was just after 10 p.m. when Chilliwack RCMP responded to reports of an altercation in the old Empress parking lot at the corner of Young and Yale roads on July 7. Three individuals were found with stab wounds, two of whom succumbed to their injuries. The third is expected to recover.
And while there were early reports that it was a fight between individuals, or that indigent people were targeted, witnesses and other close to those who saw things say the two men who died were Good Samaritans attempting to stop an attack on others.
Pressed on why the public is not at risk if Good Samaritans were killed, Foster said it was too early to know the connection, if any, between the assailant(s) and the victims and that the public should always be cautious.
“We don’t want to go out and alarm people but we don’t want to say it’s not targeted,” Foster said.
IHIT issued a statement Saturday that said it was unknown if it was a targeted attack.
The downtown was busy with pedestrians at the time with the first Party in the Park ending about a half an hour before, but there is no link to the popular downtown event.
There was a large police presence at a McIntosh Avenue apartment on Saturday. IHIT cannot confirm if this was connected to Friday’s stabbings, but a resident on the second floor of the apartment said a large number of officers with shotguns and rifles knocked down his neighbour’s door.
By Monday afternoon, two uniformed officers with cruisers were stationed outside the apartment and more were inside.
Names of the deceased have not yet been released, but tributes are pouring out on Facebook for Doug Presseau who many confirmed was one of the victims. Many posted condolences and rest-in-peace messages on his page, with some suggesting the word on the street is that Presseau was killed trying to intervene to stop the violence.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
See www.theprogress.com for more on the double-murder downtown as details become available.