A blade-wielding man who attacked a police officer outside football game in Canada Saturday night left an Islamic State flag in the car he used to ram the cop.
The black and white flag associated with the terrorist group was found in a Chevy Malibu used to slam through police barricade outside the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, around 8 p.m., police have confirmed.
The vehicle then struck the officer “suddenly and without notice” while he stood next to his cruiser, Edmonton Chief of Police Rod Knecht told reporters early Sunday.
The impact sent the officer flying at least 15 feet into the air, he said. The suspect then bolted from the vehicle and repeatedly stabbed the officer, who had been on traffic duty.
The suspect left before help arrived. The wounded cop was rushed to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive.
The knife attack ignited a wild search for the suspect in the province’s capital before a second attack involving the same driver took place, officials said.
The 30-year-old culprit surfaced again, behind the wheel of a moving van at a checkpoint, according to police.
An officer recognized the name on the driver’s license as being similar to the Malibu’s registered owner and began questioning him. The driver took off again, prompting officers to give chase to the large U-Haul van.
The driver hit at least four pedestrians while high-tailing through an alleyway.
Officers caused the van to flip and cracked open the windshield to pull the suspect out, police and witnesses said.
“I thought a shotgun went off,” witness Pat Hannigan said, describing the sound the van made when it hit the sidewalk.
Knecht said incidents are related and are being investigated as terrorism.
Police believe the suspect, who was known to police, acted alone but are not discounting the possibility that he had accomplices.
The officer wounded in the first incident was not immediately identified, and the extent of pedestrians’ injuries was not immediately clear.