Students, staff return to Eastern College after violent knife attack
Students and staff returned to the Eastern College campus in Fredericton on Wednesday, two days after three people were injured in a violent knife attack.
“I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a lot of anxiety first thing this morning,” says Norman Lyons, who manages the Fredericton campus.
Classes may have resumed at the school but Lyons says things are far from normal for staff and students.
“The mood’s been very solemn but everyone has been very strong,” she says.
“They’re taking a lot of advantage of our counsellors that we have on site today and talking about it and working through it.”
Two students and an instructor were injured Monday morning when a third student pulled out a machete-style knife and started swinging.
The school was placed on lockdown and police quickly responded to the scene. Police said a student had the man subdued on the floor when police arrived. He was then taken into custody.
The students were not seriously injured in the attack but the instructor, Lanette Ruff, underwent surgery. She remains in hospital in stable condition.
Classes were cancelled and the school was closed Monday and Tuesday. It reopened Wednesday.
Luke Thomas Powers has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault in connection with the incident. The 31-year-old Fredericton man is a student at the school.
He has yet to plead on any of the charges.
“None of us were expecting it. A few classmates even know him and so it was a shock to everybody,” says student Jeff Sheppard.
Sheppard says students have a lot of questions about the incident, but so far, they have few answers.
“What were his thoughts? What was the motive? What happened? Everybody’s been hearing a lot of different stories and whatever…just a lot of confusion, a lot of shock. It was a unique day, to say the least.”
Powers is due back in court on February 7.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell