Honourable colleagues, it was shocking and heart-wrenching to hear about the terrorist attack that took place in Edmonton on Saturday night.
Around 8:15 pm, fans were at Commonwealth Stadium cheering on our Edmonton Eskimos when a man driving a car crashed through traffic barricades, deliberately striking Police Constable Mike Chernyk than smashing into his police cruiser. The impact sent him flying several metres into the air.
The driver, who had an ISIS flag in his car, jumped out of the vehicle and began a vicious attack on Constable Chernyk.
Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht later stated that the officer “was in a struggle for his life, holding on to his gun with one hand and blocking the knife with his other. It is a testament to his experience and training that he survived the confrontation.”
The assailant was later identified as 30-year-old Somali refugee, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif.
A few hours later, Sharif was pulled over at a checkstop, this time, driving a U-Haul truck. One can only imagine the carnage that could have occurred if he been able to follow-through with a weaponized vehicle.
The Edmonton Police Service, quickly identified Sharif as the person involved in the earlier incident, and a car chase ensued.
As the suspect sped toward the downtown area, witnesses saw him repeatedly swerve the truck in an attempt to hit pedestrians who had filled the busy streets.
Sharif was quickly apprehended when he lost control of the truck, causing the truck to flip over.
Sadly, four people were struck, sustaining multiple injuries.
Colleagues, were not for the bravery and quick thinking of our police service, this situation could have been much, much worse. On behalf of all Edmontonians, I thank the Edmonton Police Service for their courageous work. I commend their selfless service as they put themselves in danger in order to protect the residents of Edmonton and all people.
To Constable Chernyk, the victims and their families, be assured that our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery are with you. With all Canadians, we condemn this heinous, cowardly act of terrorism.
I know all Albertans and Canadians will also join with me in expressing my sincerest condolences to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre in which three Albertan women and one BC man lost their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.