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Before the arrest, police had warned the public that Ellis Kirkland, 60, was armed and dangerous, and that she was not to be approached if seen. (Toronto Police)
Before the arrest, police had warned the public that Ellis Kirkland, 60, was armed and dangerous, and that she was not to be approached if seen. (Toronto Police)

Suspect in stabbing detained after her rescue from downtown hotel balcony Add to ...

A Harvard-trained architect suspected of stabbing a 67-year-old man and leaving him with life-threatening injuries was arrested after a dramatic rescue from a hotel balcony less than a kilometre away from the scene.

Ellis Kirkland, 60, was taken into custody late Thursday afternoon, said Constable Craig Brister of the Toronto Police Service.

The arrest took place after police responded to a call about a woman in distress sitting on the railing of a high-rise hotel balcony near the corner of Church and Charles streets at about 11:30 a.m.

Constable Brister said police arrived at the scene nine minutes later. Tactical forces then negotiated with the woman for hours, before two officers rappelled off the roof of the Town Inn Suites onto a balcony. Police confirmed that Ms. Kirkland was the woman rescued and taken into custody at about 4 p.m.

Earlier, police had warned the public that Ms. Kirkland was armed and dangerous, and that she was not to be approached if seen.

The victim was stabbed multiple times by a woman wielding a large kitchen knife at a Rosedale Valley building on Thursday shortly before 7:30 a.m., police said. The man was taken to hospital, where his condition deteriorated, said Constable David Hopkinson. Police wouldn’t comment on the relationship between the victim and suspect.

Constable Hopkinson said investigators have recovered video footage and spoken to eyewitnesses. Ms. Kirkland allegedly fled the scene in a car that was later recovered by police, he said.

Residents of the apartment building where the incident occurred, situated in an upscale neighbourhood near Yonge and Bloor Streets, gathered in the lobby of the building, visibly emotional. Police would not comment on reports that the victim was a doorman for the building.

Ms. Kirkland, who obtained a master of architecture in urban design from Harvard University and a bachelor of architecture from the University of Toronto, is a vice-president at the NATO Association of Canada, a volunteer position.

“We are not commenting about this situation. We’re getting all the information from the police just as the news sources are as well,” said Robert Baines, a corporate development officer for the non-governmental organization.

Ms. Kirkland is also founder and chair of NATO Paxbuild Economic Platform, which emphasizes the role of infrastructure in promoting economic development and peace. A 2014 Ottawa Life article said Ms. Kirkland focused on working with failed regions and described her as “the go-to person for insight into large infrastructure projects.”

She is the director of Kirkland Capital Corp., according to federal government records, and was the first female president of the Ontario Association of Architects, serving for two terms in 1993 and 1994. She is currently a licensed architect but is no longer active with the executive board, said Adam Tracey, the group’s manager of policy and government relations.

Ms. Kirkland also worked as a lobbyist for the Kashechewan First Nation, according to reports filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

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