This story has been updated to correct a quote.
Homicide investigators cannot yet say what motivated the man now accused of second degree murder in Saturday’s Lynn Valley Village stabbing spree.
Yannick Bandaogo, 28, had no connection with any of the victims and no home in B.C. He was wanted on warrants in Quebec and Manitoba, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
“Your questions are reasonable and understandable but our investigation is still early on and I assure you, it is far from over,” said IHIT Insp. Michelle Tansey at a press conference held Monday afternoon just steps from where the attack took place. “We’re two days into the investigation and there's such a massive amount of information coming in, at this point, we're trying to assess everything.”
Of the seven victims, six are women. They range in age from 22 to 78. Bandaogo did have a history of violence, Tansey said, referencing the warrants and his criminal record in Quebec. The victim who died was in her late 20s.
One thing investigators are ready to rule out, Tansey, said was radicalization.
“That is not what we're looking at right here. There's no nexus for us in this investigation to believe that there's anything in relation to radicalization,” she said.
Tansey said investigators have interviewed 50 witnesses, including the six surviving victims, as well as viewed “vast amounts” of video captured from the scene.
As of Monday, Bandaogo remained in RCMP custody. He failed to show up for his first appearance at North Vancouver provincial court on Monday and has been remanded until his next court date on April 1.
Recognizing the trauma that’s spread in the community, District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said North Shore Emergency Management has opened a “wellness and resilience centre” at Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre for the community, with grief counsellors for members of the community impacted by the attack.
“No one expects to be confronted with violence while going about their day in a civic plaza outside a library and just running their errands over the course of the day. It's an absolute shock,” he said.
Little he has received messages of support from across the country. Beyond the first responders, who he thanked for their speed and professionalism, Little also spoke of the resilience and character put on display by everyday citizens.
“I've heard stories of bravery and kindness that are coming out of this horror, like restaurant staff helping the injured, strangers rushing to administer first aid, and other acts of compassion and bravery that we will all need to recognize in the coming months,” he said.
Supt. Ghalib Bhayani, officer in charge of the North Vancouver RCMP, said there will be many people in line for special commendations for their role stepping in during “the dynamic and dangerous situation.”
“We want to acknowledge our paramedics, our firefighters, our RCMP members and commend our civilians, the good Samaritans who cared for the injured and kept others safe,” he said. “We are deeply grateful for your courage, and your selflessness. Your quick and heroic actions in the face of unspeakable violence, no doubt saved lives. It makes me feel humbled and proud to be your police chief.”
Bhayani also stressed that despite the shocking events, the library and the wider community are safe, and his officers are working to keep it that way.