A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a “serious assault” on a staff member at L.A. Matheson Secondary Friday (March 13), police say.
The man, who is a Surrey resident, was identified and then found and arrested in Vancouver around 4 p.m., Surrey RCMP said. He is currently in custody.
Surrey RCMP said charges haven’t been laid yet.
According to police, investigators believe it was a targeted incident, but the suspect is not a current or former student of the high school.
The victim, a staff member, remains in hospital in “stable condition” as of Friday evening. The sustained serious injuries after being assaulted with an unspecified weapon on Friday morning, police said.
Surrey Mounties and members of the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team responded to the assault at 8:25 am.
The ERT team did a security sweep.
“The injured person has been taken to hospital,” Corporal Elenore Sturko said. The victim is in stable condition.
The school was locked down and classes were then cancelled.
“We’ve cancelled classes for today,” Ritinder Matthew, spokeswoman for the school district, told the Now-Leader. “No students or staff are being permitted into the school at this time. For students that are not able to return home, we’ve established a safe and supervised environment for them at a nearby school.
Sturko said a suspect was seen leaving the school in a dark grey Kia sedan.
“We haven’t made any arrests yet,” she said. “At this time the suspect has not been identified by police and the motivation for this assault has not been determined.”
“Police are looking to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the vehicle leaving, or may have CCTV or dashcam footage,” she said. “Police believe that this incident involved a single suspect and they are currently working on obtaining all available descriptions of that person. Further information on the suspect will be released following the completion of critical witness interviews.”
Police ask anyone with footage to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.
Constable Richard Wright would not confirm what the victim’s job at the school is or if someone connected to the school or from outside is believed to have done the assault.
“At this point we’re still gathering statements at scene and trying to put together a motive for this incident. So our investigators are still on scene, making sure everything is safe, and gathering evidence so that we can pursue the investigation.
“We aren’t releasing mechanism of injury, anything like that, because we’re still on scene with witnesses and we can’t pollute their statements,” Wright told the Now-Leader, “and to have any information to go out about it, we can’t do it.”