A 16-year-old boy is in hospital after being stabbed in North Delta just before noon on Monday (Feb. 27).
Police say the boy reported several individuals wearing masks had attacked him “in and around Annieville Park.”
Photos taken by a Black Press freelancer show an area taped off by police on 92nd Avenue near 115th Street at the entrance to a paved walkway leading to the sports fields behind Delview Secondary, about a block from the park.
The boy told police he had been threatened, punched and eventually stabbed by one or more of the suspects. DPD members located the boy and provided emergency first aid until firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene.
He was later taken to hospital where he is being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Police say the boy is expected to make a full recovery.
Several youths involved in the attack were located by police and taken into custody, and police say the suspects are students who attend Delview with the victim.
Police say their investigation quickly determined the incident was a targeted attack as the victim appears to be involved in a dispute with other individuals he knows from school.
“School administration has been working with investigators to assess this incident’s impact on all students at the school,” the department said in an update Tuesday morning.
“All of the suspect youth’s parents have been notified of the incident, and the school administration is taking all steps they deem necessary by sanctioning the involved students as the investigation continues.”
The incident is not believed to be gang-related or connected to the B.C. gang conflict.
“Any time we see high levels of violence at or near our schools, it is a significant pause for concern as to the welfare of the youth of our community. It is troubling a dispute has escalated to this level of violence,” DPD Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release.
Investigators are currently gathering evidence with the intention of forwarding a report to Crown counsel seeking charges against those involved.
As the victim and suspects are all youth, their identities will not be made public.
As the attack happened within blocks of several schools, Delview Secondary, Annieveille Elementary and Gibson Elementary were placed in a precautionary “hold and secure” while police worked to locate the suspects.
According to the Delta School District’s emergency procedures, a “hold and secure” is typically used if there is the potential threat of violence in the neighbourhood near a school, while a “lockdown” is used in response to an active threat of violence inside a school.
Procedures for a hold and secure include bringing everyone into the school and keeping them inside, securing exterior doors and windows, closing exterior window blinds or drapes (if available), and barring anyone from entering or exiting the school. Normal activities (classes, etc.) usually continue within the school.