Downtown Eastside of Vancouver: not one of tonier neighbourhoods
The identity of the man who stabbed three people in the Downtown Eastside before being killed by police Thursday was still unclear a day later.
But on the street he was known as Muhambla, a Somalian refugee who had recently arrived in Vancouver from Edmonton, and was homeless.
The two men he stabbed were also Somalian refugees; one may be his cousin. They apparently got into an argument over a bicycle, an argument that turned violent when Muhambla pulled out a knife and slashed his cousin in the side.
He slashed another man in the head before police arrived and blasted him with several beanbag shells from a shotgun. He was knocked down, but got up and knifed a woman before police switched to real bullets and killed him.
Jean de Dieu Hakizimana said he ran into Muhambla a couple of times in the days before he died.
“He was very aggressive, this guy,” said de Dieu Hakizimana, who runs Neighbourhood Care International, a resource centre for the local African community.
“Usually I saw him in Brandiz (Hotel). That’s where they drink beers, that’s where they hang out.
“Many Africans hang out there, mostly homeless. For these two days I saw him, the guy was unpredictable … I saw him twice, and he (got into a) fight twice, in the two days he’s been here, in the bar”…
Just what the seedy Downtown Eastside needs: homeless, drunk Somalis.