20-year-old arrested following stabbing death of teen on Surrey, B.C., bus

20-year-old arrested following stabbing death of teen on Surrey, B.C., bus
THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Andrea Van Der Gracht
Ethan Bespflug is shown in this undated family handout photo.

Police say they have arrested a 20-year-old man from Burnaby, B.C., in connection with the stabbing of a teenager on a Metro Vancouver transit bus last week.

Seventeen-year-old Ethan Bespflug was killed on a bus in Surrey, B.C., last Tuesday.

Police say they don’t believe the attack was random and they hope to have an update on possible charges soon.

The family has said the teen’s mother realized something was wrong when she tracked her son’s phone to a hospital in New Westminster. When she arrived she was told he had died.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says he has spoken to his federal counterpart, Marco Mendicino, about the issue of violence on public transit, which is occurring across Canada.

Farnworth says he expects to see an increased law enforcement presence on transit systems in B.C. after ministry officials met with policing agencies about transit safety.

Bespflug’s aunt, Andrea Van Der Gracht, said in an earlier interview that Ethan was a good kid, and an older brother who worked hard to help look after his four siblings.

She said the teen regularly took the bus to Surrey, where his mother would pick him up for their drive home to Abbotsford, about an hour east.

Van Der Gracht said the family had moved from Surrey last year, partly because of concerns about crime.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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