Canadians are reeling after a Red Deer doctor was attacked and killed on Monday inside an examination room at a walk-in clinic in the central Alberta city.
Alberta RCMP responded to an assault with an unspecified weapon at Village Mall Walk-In Clinic at 11:10 a.m. on Monday, and later upgraded the investigation to a homicide.
On Tuesday, police identified the victim as Dr. Walter Reynolds, 45, who died in hospital after he was assaulted with what eye-witnesses identified as a hammer and machete, per the National Post.
Police confirmed that Deng Mabiour, 54, was arrested at the scene. He has since been charged with first-degree murder, assault with a weapon and assault of a police officer.
Speaking at a Tuesday press conference, Red Deer RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier called Reynolds’ death “shocking.”
“In twenty-seven years of policing, I’ve never seen a doctor attacked like that,” Grobmeier said. “What the community’s going through… I would imagine it’s a shock.”
He added that the attack was targeted.
“Through the charge of first-degree murder, it means it was premeditated,” he said. “An individual went in with a goal … they knew each other through the clinic.”
Grobmeier said police have learned the motive behind the attack but those details won’t be released for the time being.
Reynolds is being remembered as a loving father to two young daughters and a devoted husband. A GoFundMe page has already raised close to $85,000 for his children’s education.
Multiple Alberta government officials have reached out to express their condolences for Reynolds’ family and friends following the senseless tragedy that took place.
“Saddened to learn of this horrendous and fatal attack on a Red Deer doctor,” Premier Jason Kenney wrote on Monday. “Can’t imagine the pain and sorrow his family and clinic staff are now going through. On behalf of all Albertans, our deepest condolences go out to them.”
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of this horrific incident,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro wrote on Monday. “Sending my condolences to the physician’s family and loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with all staff and patients who witnessed this tragic attack.”
A candlelight vigil is being planned to honour Reynolds’ memory. The ceremony will take place at Red Deer City Hall on Friday, Aug. 14., per the Red Deer Advocate.