Mayor Kennedy Stewart issued the following statement after police shot and injured a man with a machete who allegedly set fire to his suite in a rooming house and attacked four others with his weapon:
“Everyone deserves to feel safe, but many major cities across BC, including Vancouver, have been bearing the brunt—and resulting tragedies—of an under-resourced mental health and justice system that endangers the safety of the community, first responders, and law enforcement.
"Last night, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire on Granville Street, and called Vancouver Police to address an armed suspect that went on to attack four people with a weapon. Police discharged their weapons in an attempt to subdue the suspect to de-escalate the situation. The suspect was arrested and taken to the hospital where they are receiving treatment for serious, non-life-threatening injuries.
"I want to thank Vancouver Fire Rescue Services for their prompt response, and the Vancouver Police Department and responding officers for the swift, brave action that undoubtedly saved lives and spared more people from harm. My hearts go out to the victims and families of everyone impacted by this tragedy.
"As the Vancouver Police Department mounts an investigation into this incident, I call upon our partners in the Provincial government to recommit to reforming the justice system, particularly around prolific offenders that endanger public safety, and respond to the dire need for more mental health services.
"Gaps in our mental health and criminal justice system not only fail our public, but our first responders and partners in law enforcement who are committed to community and public safety despite a lack of critical support to comprehensively address violent offenders.”