Edmonton U-Haul attacker found guilty of attempted murder of police officer, pedestrians
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, the man who stabbed a police officer and ran down four pedestrians in a U-Haul truck, has been found guilty of all charges laid against him.
Sharif, originally of Somalia, came to Canada after a U.S. immigration judge ordered that Sharif be deported to Somalia. Sharif was not deported immediately, instead being put under supervision, as the U.S. had temporarily halted deportations to Somalia.
Sharif was scheduled to appear in ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Diego in January of 2012, of which he did not appear, as he had gone to Buffalo, New York, with a plan to try his luck in Canada.
According to The Edmonton Journal, a Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson said Sharif “crossed into Canada in 2012 and was found to be a refugee later that year,” under the banner of being a “convention refugee” a refugee who is unable to return to their country because of a “well-founded fear of persecution.”
Sharif was charged with 11 offences, including one count of aggravated assault, one count of dangerous driving, four counts of criminal flight from police causing bodily harm, and five counts of attempted murder.
The charges against Sharif were in connection with the stabbing of Edmonton police constable Mike Chernyk, along with the U-Haul rampage through Edmonton in September 2017.
Sharif learned of his fate on Friday morning after a brief deliberation by the Edmonton jury, who took less than 24 hours to decide Sharif’s fate. As Sharif learned of his sentencing, no emotion was displayed from him.
On Thursday morning, Justice Paul Belzil explained to the jury that two of the five attempted murder charges needed to be approached with “a great deal of caution,” as the Crown had to prove that Sharif had the intention not just to drive them over, but indeed to kill them.
It was later discovered that police found an ISIS flag in the U-haul used to run over Chernyk.
Former Edmonton city police chief Rod Knecht had claimed at the time that they were investigating the incidents as “acts of terrorism.”
Though that pertinent detail made international news, the Crown never brought forward any terrorism-related charges, with the word “terrorism” never actually being used in front of the jury.
The trial itself lasted three weeks. There were several eyewitnesses, including Constable Chernyk and the other four injured victims.
Sharif is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 12 and 13.