Warning: The following story contains graphic details
A physician in Red Deer is dead after a violent incident at his own walk-in clinic on Monday morning (Aug. 10).
Anina Mullin was in the waiting room of Village Mall Walk-In Clinic with her daughter when she heard banging and screams coming out of 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 told Black Press Media.
That prompted the receptionist to check what was going on.
“She immediately came back, very distraught and said ‘can anyone help the doctor’”
Two men in the waiting room rushed to help, and Mullin “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,’” the witness said.
From then on, she saw the incident unfold from her car.
According to the Red Deer mother, the two men pushed on the door to make sure the attacker didn’t escape.
The incident lasted about five minutes, before police came, starting at about 11:10 a.m., said Mullin.
As police entered the clinic, the mother said she saw a hammer narrowly miss 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 have confirmed that a man is in custody. Homicide investigators are probing the incident.
Black Press Media is not naming the physician.
Mullin said the doctor, in his late 30s to early 40s, was her family physician since 2006.
“It’s so, so sad, he was a father, he has two children, a wife, it’s just not right. It’s not OK,” the patient 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.”
The mother said her family physician always remembered who you were and treated her two children as if he was their uncle.
“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 said Monday the senseless loss of life has left the community shocked and grieving.
“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.”