This morning, Vancouver police Supt. Mike Porteous shed few new details around a first-degree murder charge laid yesterday against Tyler Lagimodiere.
Lagimodiere, a 29-year-old Vancouver resident, remains in custody in connection with the stabbing death of 61-year-old Lubomir Kunik on the Stanley Park seawall on February 1, 2017. The two men did not know one another.
"The police conducted an exhaustive, almost yearlong intensive investigation into...Mr. Lagimodiere, including all of his motives, his background, his movements, and his activities," Porteous said during an 11-minute news conference at the Vancouver police station. "And so as a result of the constellation of the evidence that they've obtained involving these two individuals, it's led them to that conclusion."
Later in the news conference, the superintendent said: "It was a random attack but we have no evidence that it was a hate crime."
One reporter asked if it could have been a "thrill killing".
"That goes to the motive of the killing," Porteous replied. "That may be a theory that some people have but the specific motives are known to the police. But that will be brought out in court because it goes to motive and that's specific evidence. I can't talk about that now."
The superintendent was also asked if the murder may have been linked to a sexual assault.
Porteous acknowledged that a first-degree murder charge can be laid if the death occurs in the course of someone committing a statutory offence, such as kidnapping or sexual assault. But he pointed out that it can also be laid if the crime is "premeditated in nature".
"The investigation thus far has led the investigators to believe and Crown counsel to support that the latter is the case," he said.
He declared that nothing has come up in the investigation linking Lagimodiere to other stranger attacks in the Lower Mainland.
But he noted that police remain "alive to any kinds of linkages to any kinds of stranger attacks because, of course, primary in the investigators' minds from the outset was public safety".
"I cannot speak specifically as to what was in the suspect's mind," Porteous said. "I hesitate to hypothesize about what ifs, but what I can say is this was premeditated in nature and you can draw your own conclusions."
He also revealed that VPD officers know the suspect, who grew up in East Van.
"He's had a challenging life in Vancouver that has caused him to have contact with the police from time to time," Porteous said.
In 2013, Lagimodiere was sentenced to two years and 47 days in prison for possessing a handgun and accessible amunition.