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RCMP officers investigate a 'major incident' that occured on a Greyhound bus about 18km west of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba on Thursday morning, July 31, 2008. (John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
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Officers speak with witnesses outside of a Greyhound bus where a gruesome murder took place during a trip from Edmonton to Winnipeg late Wednesday, July 30, 2008.
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As the tail lights of another vehicle stream by, an RCMP officer investigates a 'major incident' that occured on a Greyhound bus about 18km west of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba on Thursday morning, July 31, 2008. (John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Greyhound reviewing bus security after beheading
Updated Thu. Jul. 31 2008 12:25 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Greyhound is reviewing security on its buses after a young man travelling to Winnipeg late Wednesday was stabbed to death and then decapitated in what appears to be a random act of violence.
Witnesses said the victim, described as between the ages of 18 to 20, was sleeping with his head against the window when the attack occurred.
"He was listening to music when suddenly the person next to him began to stab him in the neck with... a large butcher knife," CTV's Murray Oliver reported Thursday after speaking to witnesses.
Garnet Caton, who was sitting in front of the victim, heard the commotion and turned around thinking he was going to witness a fight.
Caton told CTV News that once he realized what was going on he screamed: "Stop the bus, somebody's getting stabbed, everyone get the hell off."
The bus driver pulled over on a section of the east-bound Trans-Canada Highway -- about 15 kilometres west of Portage la Prairie, Man -- and many of the 37 passengers began to flee the bus.
Canton gathered a small group of people to go back and help the victim, said Oliver.
"They returned to the back of the bus to find that the person who was stabbing the person in the neck had now sawed off the head of (the victim)."
The man, with the head in one hand and the butcher knife in the other, then tried to attack the other passengers, said Oliver.
The group was able to exit the bus and slammed the door behind them.
The man then stabbed the door with his knife but was unable to break through and get off the bus. Eventually, he attempted to start up the bus to drive away but the operator had hit a switch, disabling the vehicle.
Oliver said a truck driver then arrived at the scene and handed out wrenches and crowbars to several men. The small group gathered around the door to the bus and prevented the man from exiting until police arrived.
RCMP eventually arrested the man after a standoff lasting several hours, said Oliver.
Witnesses said the suspect was tall, large and wearing sunglasses, even though it was dark.
Abby Wambaugh, media relations spokeswoman for Greyhound, said the company is now working with Transport Canada to review bus security.
She called the situation tragic but said travelling by bus is still "the safest mode of transportation in the country."
Wambaugh also said Greyhound is fully co-operating with the RCMP investigation.
Passengers will be escorted to Winnipeg once they are interviewed by RCMP, said Wambaugh.
Once there, Greyhound will provide counselling for any passengers who want the service, she said.
Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Stockwell said Thursday he was shocked when he heard about the incident.
He said it was "probably one-of-a-kind in Canadian history."
The minister said he's not entertaining any notion of registering knives as dangerous weapons given that millions of kitchen knives alone are sold annually.
looks like you dont have to go to iraq to get in on the head cutting action, i wonder if the bus camera footage will be leaked to the public since they said security footage was onboard the greyhound, i feel bad for the dude sleeping and to get butchered like that.
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