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HomeCanadaP.E.I. Communities Nervously Await Capture of Sword Attack Suspect

P.E.I. Communities Nervously Await Capture of Sword Attack Suspect


People in western PEI are closing their doors and some are even closing their businesses as the RCMP continues to search for a man who attacked a group of people with a sword on a secluded beach.

It happened at Seacow Pond Beach, near Tignish, on Friday night. Police say a 42-year-old woman sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries and a young man who was with her suffered minor injuries.

The man behind the attack could be anywhere now, police say. This has some people in nearby communities anxiously awaiting news of an arrest.

“People are keeping doors locked… terrified to leave the house,” said resident John Pitre. “Hopefully, they’ll find out who it is… It’s hard on the community. Everyone is nervous.”

Michele MacDonald, manager of a local gift shop, said she closed her doors over the weekend because she feared for her safety and that of her staff.

“It’s hard on the community,” says John Pitre. “Everyone is nervous.” (Mary-Helen McLeese/CBC)

“[When] “I came to work, I expected the road to be blocked, but there was nothing,” MacDonald said. “We had to make a call if we were to stay open or closed and whatever, so we closed the store for a couple of days.”

Some people who visited the area said they were shocked by what happened.

Julie Ross and her partner are in the province for the first time, touring the island by bike. A local store owner told them about the incident.

A woman with short hair and glasses stands on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
Michele MacDonald temporarily closed her gift shop, baffled by the fact that no one has been arrested for the Friday night attack. (Mary-Helen McLeese/CBC)

“The gentleman working behind the counter mentioned it to us and just said, ‘You might want to be careful if you’re bicycling around,’ so that gave me a little bit of a shock, I’m not going to lie,” Ross said. “But it hasn’t changed our plans at all.”

Breaking: spoke to several people who did not feel comfortable being interviewed on camera out of fear for their safety. However, an elderly person who lives alone said that this incident has robbed people in the community of more than the money could ever replace.

Police ‘follow the clues’

RCMP, which issued an alert late Friday warning people of an “active” and “dangerous” person in the area, said Monday they are continuing to follow up on leads.

Corporal Gavin Moore said the RCMP Major Crimes Unit has been in the area throughout the weekend along with general duty officers. Ground Search and Rescue members and a team of RCMP police dogs are among those roaming the area, he said.

A woman wearing a bike helmet and sunglasses checks her phone in front of a scenic cliff, with her bike nearby.
Julie Ross, who was on a bike tour of western PEI, heard about the beach attack at a stop at a local store. (Mary-Helen McLeese/CBC)

“We’re following the advice and we’ve been able to rule out quite a few of the ones that come in,” Moore said.

“We have been doing neighborhood investigations and speaking with residents. We have also reached out to local businesses for information and any video that may be available.”

The attacker was described as being five feet 10 inches tall, wearing a dark surgical mask and possibly a green hoodie.

“It’s traumatic for the community”

The motive is still unknown, as well as any link between the attacker and the victims.

“We ask that the islanders remain vigilant, keep their doors and windows closed and look out for one another,” Moore said.

Man in RCMP uniform in front of a brick building.
‘An incident like this is quite jarring. It’s traumatic for the victims involved. It’s traumatic for the community and the island as a whole,” says RCMP Cpl. Gavin Moore. (Mary-Helen McLeese/CBC)

“An incident like this is quite shocking. It’s traumatic for the victims involved. It’s traumatic for the community and the island as a whole.”

Police are asking anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant, to contact them at 902-853-9300.

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