The RCMP’s major crimes unit is investigating a fatal attack on a doctor Monday at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic.
The physician, who the Advocate has chosen not to identify, was in his late 30s to early 40s, said Anina Mullin, who had been taking her family to the clinic 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,” Mullin 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.”
Mullin said the physician always remembered his patients and treated her two children as if he was their uncle.
“And he loved his kids so much – he always talked about them.”
Mullin was at the clinic Monday morning when she heard banging and screams coming out of an examination room.
The woman, who was in the waiting room with her 13-year-old daughter, said time froze during the “horrific” incident, which involved a blood-covered hammer.
“While we were waiting in line to be checked in, there were banging noises, and someone yelling “help me, help me, call 9-1-1,” recalled Mullin.
That prompted the receptionist to check what was going on.
“She immediately came back, very distraught and said ‘can anyone help the doctor?’”
Two “big guys” in the waiting room rushed to help, and “immediately, I saw one of them turn around and start running toward 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 the safety of her car.
According to Mullin, the two men pushed on the door of the examination room to make sure the attacker couldn’t escape, while at the same time trying to help the physician.
The incident lasted about five minutes, before police came, starting at about 11:10 a.m., said Mullin.
“One police officer, with his gun drawn, said ‘put it down or I’ll shoot.’ And all of a sudden, a hammer just flew right at the doorway and missed the officer, because he (jumped) back, and it landed in front of the walk-in clinic.
“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.
“From then (the officer) said ‘put down the machete,’” said Mullin, who said she didn’t see the second weapon.
Police officers then brought out a tall suspect wearing baggy clothes, with blood all over the cuffs of his sweater, she said.
Red Deer resident Andy Larocque is a former patient of the physician. He said he saw reports on social media that a patient had had a dispute with a doctor at the clinic.
Larocque said he drove to the clinic, located at 6230 50th Ave.
“It’s an awful thing. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment,” said Larocque.
“You wouldn’t think this kind of thing would happen in Canada.
“It hits home. I could’ve been in that clinic, other people could’ve been hurt. It’s a shocker to realize that you go to a doctor to be treated and protected, and it ends up being the doctor is the one who loses his life.
“It’s mind-boggling that something like this could happen,” Larocque said.