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Ottawa Officer Killed in Stabbing Outside Hospital

Ottawa Officer Killed in Stabbing Outside Hospital

The Canadian Press via YellowBrix

December 29, 2009

Update: The slain officer has been identified as Constable Eric Czapnik, 51.

OTTAWA — A former Mountie with a troubled past is in custody after an Ottawa police officer was ambushed and stabbed to death outside a hospital in the cold, dark hours of Tuesday morning.

A lawyer for Kevin Gregson, 43, says his client is expected to appear in an Ottawa court house Tuesday afternoon to face charges in connection to the slaying.

“I’m hopeful that it will happen today,” Israel Gencher told The Canadian Press.

Gencher said he spoke with Gregson briefly by telephone earlier in the day, but declined to say what they talked about.

The apparently random attack on the unidentified male officer took place around 4:30 a.m. ET as he was sitting in his cruiser outside the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital writing up notes on an unrelated case.

A flashlight, gun, notebook, a single glove, a knife with a 12-centimetre blade and a second knife lay drenched in blood at the scene, as investigators gathered evidence. A silver Honda Civic within the taped-off area remained running throughout.

“It appears our officer was in his vehicle doing notes on a call that was unrelated when the altercation or the incident happened,” a pale and shaken Ottawa police chief Vern White told The Canadian Press.

“We really don’t know much more than that. There was no call of service in relation to this. The officer apparently was … surprise attacked. … He was at the hospital on duty, (there) doesn’t appear to be a connection between the individual and the officer.”

Paramedics on the scene immediately tried to save the officer, but were unable. He died around 5:30 a.m. ET, White said.

The two paramedics and people at the hospital managed to apprehend the suspect. The Major Crime Unit is investigating and police said the suspect will not be identified until charges are laid.

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