Family and friends of north Edmonton stabbing victim Brian Berland, along with people who never met him, gathered to honour the 38-year-old on Thursday night.
The heartbreak and shock amongst the crowd was palpable.
“It helps a bit, knowing that so many people loved him and cared about him just as much as I did,” Brian’s niece Shaelynn Berland said.
Man killed in Edmonton stabbings hailed a hero as homicide investigation continues
On Wednesday, Sept. 7, around 2:30 p.m., three people were stabbed in the area of Hermitage Road and Henry Ave in the Homesteader neighbourhood.
Police said a man stabbed a woman at a bus stop, and then went into a nearby wooded ravine and stabbed another woman in a tent. He then left and stabbed Berland multiple times.
Clarence Lawrence, 25, has been charged with second degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
There have been multiple violent fatal crimes in the middle of the day in Edmonton this year.
In June, two men in their sixties were brutally and fatally attacked in Chinatown.
University of Alberta criminology professor Temitope Oriola said not all crimes can be prevented by police.
“In moments like this, the tendency is that the police need more resources. While it seems like a policing problem, it is, in fact, not fundamentally a policing problem — this is a social problem,” Oriola said.
“Our best shot is nested in tackling some of the underlying social variables that we know provide the atmosphere for violent crime to develop.”
Oriola said the onus is on society to reduce the potential for “such individuals to be produced.”
North Edmonton community on edge after random stabbing attacks
Edmonton Amarjeet Sohi said the province needs to provide more funding to help address issues that lead to addictions and homelessness.
“At the end of the day, these issues are health and related to mental health — addictions crisis and housing crisis — and those are provincial responsibilities,” Sohi said.
“We are dealing with symptoms.”
The province said in a statement to Global News, “Alberta’s government will continue working with the City to provide support for social services and public safety, however, it remains primarily the City’s responsibility to ensure safety on the streets of Edmonton.”
The province also outlined ways it is hoping to prevent violent crimes.
“At the provincial level, our work and investments to protect Albertans and improve public safety in communities throughout the province, including Edmonton, do not start and stop with this safety plan. They also include a provincial policing grant of more than $26.1 million this year, as well as numerous investments in public safety made by the province.”
Those like Berland’s family aren’t thinking about who should be tacking the issue — but they’re hoping someone does.
Brian’s brother-in-law Allen Frost has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.
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