Toronto officer expected to recover from stabbing
Published Monday, April 16, 2012 6:29PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 8:03AM EDT
Toronto's police chief says he's confident that one of his officers will recover after being stabbed in the neck in the city's north end.
"He was in surgery last night and there'll be a slow period of recovery," Police Chief Bill Blair said in a message posted to YouTube.
The Special Investigations Unit says the officer was involved in a traffic stop near Bathurst Street and Wilson Avenue in North York when shots were fired just before midnight Sunday.
The officer, believed to be 30 years old, was rushed to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre after he was stabbed in the neck.
Sources confirmed to CTV Toronto that the officer is Const. Jeff Blair with 13 Division's traffic unit.
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, told reporters that his "thoughts and prayers" are with the officer's family.
Another male was also taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries following the incident.
The injured man reportedly suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Neighbours at the scene reported hearing eight distinct shots and seeing a lone officer lying on the ground.
Mike Salb, an area resident, said he originally heard five shots ring out and saw two more. He ran outside to see an officer holding the left side of his neck.
"He asked me to grab his radio and gun. I told him we'd already called 911," Salb said.
"I put the radio on the trunk of his car, and took the gun inside my house to secure it."
Salb came back out with paper towels and held them to the officer's neck.
Further details about the civilian aren't available. The SIU is investigating the incident. As a result, it may be weeks before officials can share specifics.
Blair worked in 13 Division, which is bordered by Spadina Road to the east, the Canadian National Railway line to the west, part of the Canadian Pacific Railway Line to the south and Lawrence Avenue West to the north.
Just north of Lawrence Avenue West is 32 Division, where the incident took place. It's unclear why Blair was outside his division.
"He's a public servant, he's out there protecting the people of Toronto late at night," Chief Blair said in his video message.
"We're very grateful that he will recover but it reminds us all of the risks that Toronto police officers face everyday."
Toronto mayor Rob Ford said he supports the city's police because they have a dangerous job.
"It's very unfortunate, that's why I protect our police . . . and I will continue to support them 100 per cent, and that's why I'll stick up for them vigorously," he said.
Six investigators and three forensic experts have been assigned to the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the SIU at 416-622-2314 or 1-800-489-2565.
The SIU is an arm's-length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry