Update (4:27 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019): “The SIU is investigating an incident that occurred this afternoon in downtown Kingston. Further details to be released later this evening.” — via Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on Twitter.
Update (3:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019): Kingston Police will not be commenting on this incident any further.
“The SIU has invoked its mandate and we will be unable to provide any further information at this time,” said Const. Ashley Gutheinz, media relations officer for Kingston Police.
There was a large presence of first responders in the downtown core today following a fight that turned violent and led to multiple people being stabbed.
The incident began shortly before 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of Queen and Bagot Streets. There, a suspect had been arguing with a victim and was overheard by many witnesses from their downtown offices as the fight escalated.
“I looked out my window and saw two men struggling on the ground on Bagot [Street] north of Queen [Street] in the southbound lane. I moved to a nearby office where I was able to get a better vantage point. At this time, I saw the offender on top of the victim who was lying face-down on the road. There was a pool of blood on the road, and there was a line of blood leading from the pool to the victim,” said an eyewitness who preferred to remain anonymous.
According to the witness, the suspect then lifted the victim up by their shoulder and cut their throat with a large knife. The witness, shocked in the moment, began to run from his office to help in the street before doubling back and calling 9-1-1. He then returned to the window with co-workers as a Kingston Police cruiser arrived on scene.
“At this point, I saw that a third man, or a second victim, wearing a green shirt was now lying on the corner of the northwest corner of Bagot and Queen [Streets]. I did not see what occurred to this man,” the witness said. That second man also suffered stab wounds in the incident.
An officer then approached the suspect, drawing his weapon.
“The offender began to run north on Bagot Street. The offender got to the end of a parked car on the street, before turning around to approach the officer. The officer attempted to evade the offender, trying to get away from him while keeping his gun on him, before the offender began running towards the officer,” the witness recalled, reading from notes he’d taken immediately following the incident.
“At this point, the officer discharged a single round, striking the offender in what appeared to be the chest. The offender stopped briefly before attempting to continue to maneuver around the officer. Two police cruisers then arrived from the north on Bagot Street.”
The witness watched as three officers began advancing on the suspect with their weapons drawn.
“The offender began walking backwards until he was standing on the stairs of an apartment facing east on Bagot Street on the north side of the street. After a brief pause, during which it appeared that the offender was yelling something at the officers, I saw the offender stab themselves multiple times in the throat, at least four times,” the witness said.
The offender fell to the ground, and emergency responders from Kingston Police and Frontenac Paramedics quickly attended to the offender and the victims.
Initial reports indicate that all three parties were taken to Kingston General Hospital, where a Code Orange was declared briefly and then cleared.
“At approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, Kingston Health Sciences Centre entered stage 1 of its external disaster plan, known as Code Orange. This is a preliminary stage that is called in order to assess KHSC’s potential involvement in a disastrous situation. Upon assessing the situation, no further stages of Code Orange needed to be activated,” said Christine Maloney, media relations for Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC).
Kingston Police declined to comment, but said a press release will be coming out later today. The area has been barricaded off for one block in each direction, as SIU will be attending to investigate.
We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.