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Suspect identified, charged after triple stabbing in Vancouver's Chinatown

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The man who allegedly stabbed three strangers in Vancouver's Chinatown Sunday has been identified and charged – and court records show he was confined to a psychiatric facility after being found not criminally responsible for killing his teenage daughter 15 years ago.

Blair Evan Donnelly, 64, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault Monday, according to an update from the Vancouver Police Department.

Donnelly was arrested shortly after the random stabbing Sunday evening which occurred at a festival that drew thousands to the historic neighbourhood.

At a news conference Monday morning, VPD Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the suspect was on a day pass from a forensic psychiatric institution at the time.

Court documents show Donnelly was found not criminally responsible for the second-degree murder of his 16-year-old daughter in 2008. The teen was fatally stabbed in 2006 in Kitimat, and the judge who made the decision in the criminal case described the circumstances as "tragic and disturbing."

Donnelly has been at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, also known as Colony Farm, in Coquitlam for the past 15 years. In April of 2023, the review board changed the conditions of his detention to allow him to leave the property with prior permission.

"At the director's discretion he may have escorted and unescorted access to the community depending on his mental condition, having regard to the risk the accused then poses to himself or others," the board's decision says.

CTV News Vancouver asked for comment from B.C.'s Ministry of Public Safety on the case and was referred to the Ministry of Health. This story will be updated if a response from the province is received. 

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