Victoria elementary school families concerned after stabbing takes place near school
VICTORIA -- Children arrived to their second day of classes at South Park Elementary School Tuesday to find police circling the area.
Laine Smoley brought her children to the Victoria elementary school and said she was in disbelief about what she learned.
“We show up and find out that there’s been a stabbing in the park about an hour and half prior to all of the kids showing up,” said Smoley Tuesday.
Victoria Police say neighbours in the area heard someone crying out for help around 6 a.m. from Beacon Hill Park.
“People actually responded. They called and yelled back into the park, ‘We’ve called 911!’” said VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko Tuesday.
When officers arrived, they located a man who was suffering from non-life threatening injuries in an area of the park where tents have been established, near the intersection of Heywood Way and Park Boulevard.
Police say the victim told officers that he had been stabbed but did not provide any additional details. He was then taken to hospital for his injuries.
“We are still investigating the details,” said Osoko.
Grant McKenzie, who works closely with the homeless community at Our Place Society, says there is no need for concern in the greater community.
“Most of the violence that happens within people who are in the homeless community (takes place because of) the same reasons for a lot of things, it’s usually love, money or drugs,” said McKenzie.
He’s concerned about the people camping in the park, however.
“It’s very concerning for me to see people who are living in that sort of fear where they are in tents and can’t escape the smoke and can’t escape any threats that are happening to them,” he said.
A new Victoria bylaw that was introduced this summer requires tents to be located at least 50 metres away from a school. But, parents at South Park Elementary say more needs to be done.
“My biggest concern is the safety of our kids. I think we need to remove the compassion piece and sheltering in place piece right now and just focus on the most vulnerable of all(...) our kids, they’re little,” said Smoley.
As of Tuesday, Victoria police said they were still investigating the incident.