Stabbing attack in Victoria raises questions about downtown safety


A security guard monitors Broad Street in downtown Victoria Wednesday afternoon, and while it’s quiet now, a stabbing took place just 24 hours ago.

The incident happened around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on Douglas Street near View Street, in front of panicked pedestrians during the busy lunch hour.

Karen Mills was on Douglas when the attack happened inside the McDonald’s.

“I saw the tail of it, it was a bunch of commotion,” Mills told CHEK News. “A guy came out of McDonald’s. Didn’t know what was happening. I found out later he had been stabbed.”

The search for the suspect is still underway.

For Michael Redpath, it’s another violent incident in the downtown core. He opened his Coastline Surf Shop in 1991.

“The violence we’re seeing, the recent stabbing. The punching and the fights are becoming, unfortunately, more commonplace,” Redpath said.

“In my retail business here, we see more and more shoplifting attempts. You know, we have to be very vigilant. Myself and my staff watching people closely.”

A few doors down from where Tuesday’s stabbing took place, The Natural Hair Salon co-owner Natalie Grunberg-Ferreria was unaware of it.

“I didn’t even hear about that until you told me,” Grunberg-Ferreria told CHEK News.

But she and her husband, Phillipe Ferreira, are realistic about what happens outside their business.

“For me, the violence, of course, is real. I don’t want to discount that,” Grunberg-Ferreira said.

“But it’s not going to stop me from living. And I do feel that you get what you give, the more positive that you can be, and welcoming and out there, and not judgmental while also listening to your boundaries, and protecting yourself.”

The Save our Streets Coalition, which includes the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, is calling on the province to step in and fund programs to reduce issues in B.C.’s cities, including Victoria.

Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, says the human cost of doing nothing is too high.

“A lot of what we see on the streets, of course, is caused by mental health and housing issues. Crime, and violence is associated with it,” Williams said.

“But the root cause is mental health and housing. So taking care of that is going to solve a lot of problems that are on the street right now.”

An ambulance took the victim to hospital Tuesday, but there is still no update on their condition.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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