UPDATE: Stabbing involving teens in north Burnaby

BURNABY RCMP are investigating a stabbing that injured a 17-year-old male. Police were called to the area of Hastings Street and Kensington Avenue around 11:40 p.m. on Saturday for reports of a stabbing. Officers found a victim suffering from a stab wound.

Soon after, police located a suspect with the assistance of a police dog from the Integrated Police Dog Services (IPDS). The suspect, who is a 17-year-old Burnaby resident, was taken into custody.

Police said that it’s believed dozens of young people had been partying in an outdoor area when a confrontation occurred between several people, possibly involving pepper spray and the use of racial slurs, before the stabbing happened. Nobody else was seriously injured.

Investigators are working to determine whether the youth suspect and youth victim were known to each other. Neither can be publicly identified.

Burnaby RCMP said they were aware of allegations from Vancouver Whitecaps FC indicating the attack was racially motivated. So far, a motive has not been determined by investigators.

“This investigation is being taken very seriously. We are aware of the allegation that racial slurs may have been used during this altercation, which will form part of our investigation as we work to determine a motive. Our investigators are actively looking at all aspects of this incident,” said Inspector Matt Toews, Officer-in-Charge of Investigative Services with Burnaby RCMP.

“We know there were other witnesses at this outdoor gathering that have not yet come forward. We need to speak with anyone who may have seen or heard anything Saturday night that could assist us in establishing a motive and timeline.”

The 17-year-old victim remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.

Burnaby RCMP’s Serious Crimes Unit is leading the investigation.

A dedicated phone tip line has been set up by Burnaby RCMP. Witnesses with information are asked to call 604-646-9522.

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC said in a statement that on Saturday, “three players of our Academy were assaulted at an outdoor gathering in what is believed to be a racially motivated attack. One player is in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery following surgery.”

It added: “Enough is enough. We are heartbroken and sickened by the allegations and strongly condemn all forms of discrimination, racism, and hate. Such disgusting behaviour has absolutely no place in our community. We will do everything to support our players affected and urge the toughest punishment possible for those responsible.”