Neighbour removes child from home following knife attack

Photo by Drake Lowthers At 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, the Antigonish District RCMP responded to a 911 call of a woman who had been injured, stating that a man tried to stab her and a three-year-old child.

ANTIGONISH: There was a scream. Then, her neighbour’s door flung open.

A scream so horrific it stopped Karen Boyle dead in her tracks.

“I was just in the back porch, and I heard this… scream. Just this scream,” she said. “I stopped and I said “Wow, something’s going on,””

When she came out onto her step, that’s when Boyle could see the blood dripping from her hands.

“She came running out of her house and she was waiving her hands in the air,” she recalled. “She said, ‘Please call the cops, my husband is trying to kill me, please help, please help.’”

Boyle pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket and called 911, and without hesitation ran over to her neighbour’s house and entered into the open door.

“I know they have a three-year-old daughter, so I ran over and I went in the house, I didn’t think I just acted.” she said. “But now that I think about it I’m like “That was kind of stupid, because I could have got hurt,” but I didn’t care at the time. I would still do it tomorrow.”

When inside, Boyle followed her neighbour into the bedroom, where the daughter was, laying in her crib, completely still – not moving.

“I’m thinking “Oh my god, he killed her,” Boyle said. “He was standing by the crib, with no emotion on his face, just standing there with his hands in his pockets.”

After hearing the screaming, and seeing the little girl lying there still, that’s when it really started to hit home for Boyle.

“She’s the same age as my grandson, I’d hope someone would do the same if it had been him,” Boyle said as tears started to form in the corners of her eyes.

Boyle got both the mother and daughter out of the house and recruited her own daughter to grab towels to start to clean up her wounds.

“You could tell she was holding the knife, because the way the cuts were on her hands,” she said. “When I was holding her, I was covered in her blood too, from it dripping from her hands.”

Shortly after 8:30 a.m., Gurpreet Singh noticed the commotion when he heard the sirens from the police cars.

“There were six or seven police cars, they came and parked right in front of our house,” he said. “I knew there was something that had happened when there were ambulances as well.”

Gurpreet recalls the first thing he saw was Boyle carrying the neighbour’s daughter and not seeing her parents anywhere.

“My initial suspicion was something had happened to the both of them, because the girl was being held by the next door neighbour.”

Roughly 15-minutes later, the husband was escorted out of the little white bungalow with blue and yellow trim at 87 Brookland Street by three police officers.

“I saw the man who lives in that house, he was being handcuffed and being taken out,” Singh said. “Then I thought, “He probably has killed his wife,” and I become really concerned for her.”

This is completely shocking to Singh as he’s known the couple for the past decade and everything seemed to be fine between them.

“This is an East Indian family, and we’re also from India originally. There are only two Indian families on this street, we know the lady quite nicely,” he said. “I was talking to the both of them the night before it happened and nothing seemed abnormal. That’s why my initial reaction was something had happened to the both of them.”

Boyle said they were quiet people but would converse in small chit chat, as her grandson and her daughter played together regularly.

“The wife is an absolute sweetheart,” she said. “The husband would only speak when he wanted to.”

It wasn’t until late Wednesday evening that it finally hit Boyle for what had happened earlier in the day.

“Walking into their home and seeing all the blood on the walls and blood on the floor and all over the door, yeah it like from a movie scene,” she said. “That’s when it hit me and I just started crying.”

RCMP announced Wednesday a 41-year-old Antigonish man, who was later identified as Shajev Thomas, was arrested and been charged with two counts of attempted murder.

At 8:30 a.m., the Antigonish District RCMP responded to a 911 call of a woman who had been injured, stating that a man tried to stab her and a three-year-old child.

Thomas appeared in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court last Thursday where a 30-day psychiatric assessment was issued by the judge. Thomas will appear back in Port Hawkesbury on August 24.