The Toronto Police have arrested a 39-year-old man after receiving an arrest warrant for attempted murder, police said.
The suspect, Ahmed Abdi Omar, is accused of stabbing a 48-year-old woman in the chest outside a subway station in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood, according to an Toronto Police officer who identified herself as a spokesperson.
At the time of the attack, Omar was on probation for robbery, according to Toronto Police. The victim, however, was not a victim in the previous incident.
Police did not specify the address Omar was arrested at, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest on a charge of attempted murder, the Toronto Police officer told The Washington Post.
The public safety minister of Canada, Ralph Goodale, said that Omar has been on federal parole since December. Goodale said in a statement that Omar “has been involved in both federal and provincial criminal justice programs and has served time for all prior offences, including an attempt murder conviction.”
“All parolees will receive a risk assessment report and must agree to conditions that protect the public, including how they would follow the risk assessment,” Goodale said. “Parole boards are responsible for recommending conditions for ongoing supervision to make sure appropriate offenders are being monitored.”
Omar now faces a number of new charges, including two counts of aggravated assault, according to an Toronto Police statement.
The apparent attempt-murder victim, who police identified as Anastasia Demetriou, told the Associated Press that the suspect had approached her as she sat in a plastic chair outside a subway station. She said she witnessed Omar also stabbing a second man.
“He turned around and started saying, ‘Come on’ and then he just shot him in the stomach,” Demetriou told the Associated Press. “It was horrible. The guy was right in front of me and I saw him getting shot. I was yelling, ‘He’s dead!’ He shot him in the stomach and then he started running away.”
Police said they responded to the scene, located at a subway station near East York St. and Willard Ave., around 10:20 p.m. on Sunday. Demetriou said she called 911 and ran into a store, where she hid behind a refrigerator as bystanders fought with the suspect to try to stop him.
Demetriou is receiving treatment at a local hospital, police said. The conditions of the other stabbing victims are not known.
Omar was on probation for a robbery conviction in Toronto’s Scarborough area in March, according to police. And police said in 2015, Omar “was charged with a number of firearm-related offences after he fired a gun into a vehicle with three people inside.”
Omar was due to appear in court on Monday, Toronto Police said. The newspaper, the Toronto Star, reported that he was expected to be released from prison last month.
The Canadian Armed Forces did not release a list of former or current reservists accused of, convicted of or accused of serious offenses and arraigned for crimes involving criminal offences since its records of current and former members began in 1988.