A 23-year-old Surrey man is in custody after a string of stabbings in downtown Vancouver left a man with life-threatening injuries late and two others hurt late Friday night, police said.

Police were called to the scene after a man was apparently stabbed in the abdomen on Keefer Street near the International Village Mall at around 11:00 p.m.

The victim was rushed to hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries.

Officers combed the area looking for a suspect and took a man into custody in front of a McDonalds on Pender at Abbott Street, police said.

Witnesses said the man had been roaming up and down the street allegedly stabbing people seemingly at random.

Ryan Waldner was inside the International Village Mall during the attack. He waited for almost an hour before police allowed patrons to go outside, he said.

When he saw police arresting a man, he started recording video on his smartphone.

“Two cops were on top of the person,” he said. “He was saying he doesn’t want to go to jail and ‘I’m sorry,’ mostly…He was crying a lot.”

Police said they also found a woman who had been slashed on her hands inside the McDonalds. She was taken to hospital for minor injuries.

Waldner said he observed a woman who was “hysterical,” though he wasn’t sure if she was the victim of the attack.

“She just couldn’t get a hold of herself,” he said. “There was a lot of blood.”

A short while later, police said a third victim was found in the unit block of West Pender Street suffering from an apparent slash wound to his neck.

The 54-year-old Vancouver man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The stabbings follow two other recent incidents where multiple people were victims of what seem to be random attack.

Jerome Bonneric is accused of going on a rampage with a hammer at a West End apartment in January, sending six people to hospital.

In December Alberta resident Nicholas Osuteye allegedly beat three women in the Downtown Eastside.

Mental health issues were at the forefront of both cases, as both suspects had been in hospital prior to the attacks.

A 23-year-old Surrey man is facing multiple assault and weapons-related charges in connection with Friday’s stabbings, which police believe are related.

It is unknown what motivated the attacks, police said, and an investigation into the stabbings is ongoing.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Lisa Rossington