Daniel Toye was heading out for a hot chocolate when he came across the aftermath of the second of two serious Victoria stabbings Sunday night.
Toye found a young man, in a big pool of blood, in the middle of a busy downtown Victoria street.
“I didn’t have too much time to think,” says Toye, who caught the shocking incident on his dashcam. “I rolled down my window and he immediately said he’d been stabbed and asked to get in the car.”
It happened in the 2000-block of Douglas Street and the victim — a man in his early 20s — had life-threatening injuries after being stabbed several times.
“The bus stop had a lot of blood, it had a pool of blood, and it was clear he had crawled from the bus stop into the street to ask for help,” Toye recounts. “He was also covered in blood, front and back totally drenched.”
Just five minutes earlier, around 9:15 p.m., emergency crews rushed to another stabbing near the intersection of Government and Fisgard Streets.
“It’s certainly a concerning incident to have two people stabbed last night,” says Const. Cameron MacIntyre of the Victoria Police Department. “But all of this stemmed from a confrontation at Centennial Square between two or more people.”
Police say crime and violent altercations have increased since a homeless camp was set up at Centennial Square, due to COVID-19.
“We’ve certainly seen some concerning incidents in Centennial Square,” says MacIntyre. “We’ve had some other concerning incidents, assaults with weapons, reports of increased drug activity, suspicious circumstances and increased disturbances in the area.”
Victoria’s mayor agrees it’s a big problem but says most of the people in the homeless camp in the square aren’t to blame.
“I can see it with my own eyes, I’m here all day every day, and people coming and going who don’t live here, who aren’t homeless, and who are creating a great deal of unnecessary havoc,” Mayor Lisa Helps says. ” I’m very supportive of VicPD doing everything in their power to crack down on the crime. It’s not acceptable and people who are homeless and poor also being preyed upon.”
Witnesses say they saw drugs at the scene of the second stabbing and police don’t believe there’s any threat to the general public.