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A physician in Alberta is dead following a violent attack that occurred at his walk-in clinic in Red Deer on Monday morning, reports the Nelson Star.
Anina Mullin saw the situation unfold while she was in the waiting room with her daughter. She first heard banging and then screams from inside the examination room.
"While we were waiting in line to be checked in, there were banging noises, and someone yelling ‘help me, help me, call 911,’" Mullin said to Black Press Media.
The receptionist then looked to see what was happening.
"She immediately came back, very distraught and said ‘can anyone help the doctor’"
Two men who were also in the waiting room got up to help. Mullin said she "saw one of them turned around and started running towards me, so I immediately grabbed my daughter’s hand and I said ‘we need to get out.’"
After that she continued to watch the scene from her vehicle. She said the two men proceeded to push on the door and keep the attacker locked inside.
One witness said the man was carrying a machete and a hammer.
Police arrived within the next five minutes and entered the building. Mullin said she saw the attacker swinging the hammer at one of the officers.
"It was drenched in blood from what we could see. We couldn’t see the silver part on it. It was just dark—dark red almost," Mullin said.
Police say the man is now in custody and homicide investigators are looking into the incident.
The doctor who has not yet been named was in his late 30s or early 40s says Mullin.
"It’s so, so sad, he was a father, he has two children, a wife, it’s just not right. It’s not OK," she said. "It’s just wrong on so many levels. I don’t understand who in any mind frame would do that, let alone to a doctor who commits his life to saving others."
"And he loved his kids so much – he always talked about them. He would compare his kids to mine. Oh ‘I remember when you girls used to do that and my kids are in that stage’ that kind of thing."
Mayor Tara Veer commented on the incident on Monday.
"Many citizens were on scene when this tragedy occurred, and we are concerned about the well-being of first hand witnesses, clinic staff and other bystanders at the Village Mall," Veer said.
"I also want to offer heartfelt thanks to not only the first responders, but also to the citizens who supported at the scene. Thank you for your quick response and bravery. This was essential in preventing further harm and apprehending a suspect."
Both Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Premier Jason Kenney tweeted about the incident.
In a statement, Alberta Medical Association president Dr. Christine Molnar said the organization plans to reach out to medical staff in the area for support.