ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia (AP) — A 13-year-old girl who was stabbed to death was the victim of a random attack inside a high school in British Columbia, police said Wednesday.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Jennifer Pound said Gabriel Klein, 21, was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault in connection with the attack a day earlier against the two girls who were friends. The injured girl remained hospitalized.
Police said the barefoot man walked into Abbotsford Senior Secondary and stabbed two girls before being held by staff.
Pound said Klein was not a student and has no fixed address and while police knew he had recently been frequenting the Vancouver area, investigators are not sure where he is originally from.
Pound said Klein doesn't have a criminal record and doesn't appear to be connected to the school. She said police are not naming either of the victims and are asking the public for any information on Klein and his whereabouts leading up to the stabbing. Klein appeared in provincial court in Abbotsford on Wednesday.
Pound said the selfless actions of school staff who confronted the man likely prevented more people from being injured.
Kevin Godden, superintendent of schools in Abbotsford, British Columbia, said that investigators believe the attack was a "random act of violence."
There is a video of the stabbing circulating online and Godden asked people to stop sending it to others, saying it's disturbing to students and the community.
Godden said every school in the district will have all but one of its exterior doors locked during the school day out of an abundance of caution.
Godden said police closed the high school where the two young women were stabbed to maintain the integrity of the investigation and a decision will be made later today on when the school will reopen.
"I'm shaken, I'm shocked," British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said. "It ruptures our sense of security."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences, saying it is heartbreaking to hear of the tragedy.