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Witnesses: Canada bus passenger beheads seat mate

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Tabitha

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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba - Passengers aboard a Canadian bus fled in horror as a fellow traveler viciously attacked his seat mate, repeatedly stabbing him and then severing his head, witnesses said.

Police said a 40-year-old man was arrested after the grisly attack late Wednesday night aboard a Greyhound bus en route from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The suspect was captured as he tried to escape from the bus early Thursday about three hours after the violence, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Steve Colwell told reporters.

Authorities declined to provide details beyond that the victim had been stabbed. They said a motive hadn't been determined and refused to identify the suspect or the victim.

But passenger Garnet Caton said the victim, who appeared to be about 19, was sleeping with headphones on when his seat mate suddenly began stabbing him as the bus traveled a desolate stretch of the TransCanada Highway, a dozen miles from Portage La Prairie.

Caton, sitting just one seat in front of the two men, said he heard no exchanges between them prior to the violence.

"We heard this bloodcurdling scream and turned around, and the guy was standing up, stabbing this guy repeatedly," Caton said from a hotel in Brandon, Manitoba, where he and other horrified passengers were taken.

Caton said the driver stopped the bus when he became aware of the attack and passengers scrambled off. A short while later, Caton said he re-boarded along with the bus driver and a trucker who had stopped to see what was happening.

He said the suspect had the victim on the floor of the bus and "was cutting his head off" with a large hunting knife.


"When he was attacking him, he was calm," said Caton. "There was no rage or, or anything. He was just like a robot stabbing the guy."

The attacker turned toward them and the three men quickly left the bus, blocking the door as the attacker slashed at them through an opening. The three secured the door to prevent the man's escape. Caton said the driver disabled the vehicle after the attacker tried to drive it away.

As the three guarded the door with a crow bar and a hammer, the attacker went back to the body and calmly came to the front of the bus to show off the head.

Cody Olmstead, another passenger, said the man "dropped the head and went back and started cutting the body." Olmstead said the man later use the head to taunt police.

By midday Thursday, the bus was still parked at the side of the highway, surrounded by squad cars as white-suited investigators examined the vehicle and ground nearby.

Greyhound spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said there had been 37 passengers aboard, many watching a movie when the violence erupted. She called the attack tragic but isolated.

"You're sitting there enjoying your trip and then all of a sudden somebody gets stabbed. I imagine it would be pretty traumatic," Colwell said.

He said the actions of truck driver, bus driver and Caton probably prevented anyone else from being hurt. They "were very brave."

The victim had been on the bus since Edmonton. Caton said the attacker boarded the bus in Brandon, Manitoba, about 80 miles west of Portage La Prairie.

The suspect had been on the bus about an hour and initially did not sit near the victim, Caton said. But changed seats after a rest stop.

"This particular incident, as horrific as it is, is obviously extremely rare," said Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day. He did not provide any details, saying he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

(This version CORRECTS RECASTS lede to correct source to witnesses sted authorities, ADDS detail, more comment from govt minister. Edits throughout.)
 

Tabitha

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OK, I know you never know how you would have reacted in a situation like this... but... what I am reading in red is that no one altempted to do anything.

A while later they reboarded after the kid was good & dead...

I would think out of that man passengers someone could have saved that boys life...
 

Wax Munky

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Tabitha said:
OK, I know you never know how you would have reacted in a situation like this... but... what I am reading in red is that no one altempted to do anything.

A while later they reboarded after the kid was good & dead...

I would think out of that man passengers someone could have saved that boys life...

The victim was probably already gone before that bus was even stopped.

I doubt any means taken by the other passengers would have saved that young mans life. That nut case had a hunting knife!

I personally would have stayed away from that nut case to, and gotten off that bus in any way I could.Really, why stick around and wait...To be next? not me.

I think they did the right thing by keeping that psycho confined,disabled that bus,kept him inside until the authorities arrived.
The bus driver probably had to do a quick mental head count of the passengers that were by now off the bus.

"A while later"...? Bad wording by the author,that's assuming something..by someone who wasn't there at all.. hmmm....



Munky.
 

Lane

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Not to be completely crude...but what happened to just politely shooting someone?
 

7053joanne

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It's a horrible story...but I have to think that it was too late for the poor victim by the time the people around him realized what was going on...especially since he had a hunting knife....and those narrow aisles are not exactly condusive to a group rushing in to tackle the guy. I think in the situation they probably did the best thing they could by getting everyone else off the bus and keeping him on it.
 

Tabitha

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I think maybe metal detectors are in order for bus loading...

They do not mention a hunting knife untill the decap part, which made me think the original stabbing was dome w/ a smaller/different knife. Don't know, just the feel I got.

You also have to be stabbed quite a few times to actually die unless it's in a major artery. Actually, the stabbing doesn't kill you, it's the blood loss, which can be stopped or slowed w/ applied pressure. Bleeding out can take a long time.

I just can not believe someone couldn't whack him in the back of the head w/ a big bag or somthing. You never know unless you are there exactly what transpired, but I just can not imagine 37 people couldn't stop him. He was not a large man either. If it was your/my 19 y/o son I bet you/I/we would have found a way...
 

Laurie

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I just came back from a camping trip with my husband today. My 14 yr old told me this story and apparently it happened as they were leaving my city. I am going to find out the details by tomorrow. Regardless this is very close to where I live. I was absolutely horrified. Since I have 3 young adults and my 14 yr old this makes me think one more thing to worry about when they are out.

I do try to pray rather than worry. My prayers go up for the victim's family.

Laurie

Oh yeah, my son seemed to think it was gang related but I don't think so, given what I have read here.
 

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