Edmonton police arrest suspect in lethal random assaults that killed one, injured two

EDMONTON — A 25-year-old man was taken into custody Wednesday after Edmonton police said one person was killed and two were injured in what they called random attacks.

Police identified the suspect as Clarence Lawrence.

Earlier in the afternoon, police warned residents, pedestrians and motorists to avoid the northeast neighborhood of Homesteader, near Hermitage Road and Henry Avenue, while officers searched for a man with an “edged weapon.”

Residents were also advised to shelter in place. Four Catholic schools, four public schools and at least one daycare in the area were on alert as a precaution, meaning the exterior doors were locked.

“Two people have been seriously injured and one person is deceased,” police said in a news release Wednesday. “The assaults are believed to be random in nature.”

While police were searching for the suspect, they said witnesses described his appearance as “disheveled and untidy.” They released CCTV images of the suspect to the public that showed him in beige khaki pants, white shoes and a dark hoodie. He was also described as having curly black hair and light skin.

Lawrence was taken into custody just before 6 pm Wednesday, police said, about two and a half hours after authorities warned the public about the attacks. He was found in an area almost two kilometers southwest of the crime scene.

Authorities have not provided details on whether Lawrence is facing any charges or if charges are pending.

Elmir Majstorovic said he went to pick up his seven-year-old nephew from school Wednesday afternoon when he saw several police cruisers down the street.

The 22-year-old said St. Maria Goretti Catholic Elementary School was on alert and not letting students out. He said he waited about two hours before he could see his nephew.

Majstorovic said he didn’t witness the attacks, but called it unnerving that it happened so close to home.

He added that it was especially concerning since there are usually many children in the area.

Dave Olechow said he was driving in the area when he saw a man running down the street, yelling at a man and woman walking with a small dog.

He said he continued driving and did not see anyone get stabbed.

At the crime scene later in the day, Olechow said he spoke to the police about what he saw.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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