Workers at an Edmonton grocery warehouse ran for their lives Friday as a man carrying a knife in each hand went on a rampage, killing two and injuring four others.
"It's a vast warehouse complex and we found victims throughout the complex," said acting inspector Malcolm Allan. "We have dozens of witnesses. This individual went throughout the business assaulting people."
When workers at the Loblaw distribution centre in northwest Edmonton were finally allowed to leave, many were visibly shaken.
"His car was parked right beside mine," one man said of his encounter with the assailant. "He said, 'You want to get stabbed?'"
The man paused, his voice began to crack and then he drove away, telling reporters: "Sorry, guys, can't take it, gotta go."
A suspect, 29-year-old Jayme Pasieka, was arrested without incident on the city's south side about three hours later after officers received a tip from "a vigilant citizen" who noticed a vehicle matching a description that had been issued by police.
Insp. Allen said Mr. Pasieka is an employee at the warehouse, which employs at least 100 people and handles food for the Superstore grocery chain, though it is not known if he was on shift Friday.
Mr. Pasieka was convicted in 2010 of assault with a weapon and uttering threats and was sentenced to 15 months probation.
The officer said police now have to sort through a complex crime scene that spans an area about the size of two football fields.
He said a motive for the attack isn't yet known but noted the assailant was armed and appeared to be wearing some sort of body armour. A Loblaw spokesman said the company's full attention "is on the health and well-being of our colleagues."
The identities of the victims have not yet been released, but police said two of the survivors were quite seriously injured while the other two sustained non-life-threatening injuries.