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Support offered in wake of White Rock stabbings

‘My heart is broken for our community,’ says hospice executive director
Flowers lay near the scene of the April 23, 2024 fatal stabbing in White Rock. (Tricia Weel file photo)

As shock waves continue to reverberate across the Semiahmoo Peninsula and beyond in the wake of two recent stabbings on White Rock’s waterfront — one of them fatal — those who focus on bringing comfort in times of grief are encouraging anyone who may be struggling to make sense of it all to stay connected, take stock and reach out for help when needed.

While an arrest was announced Monday (April 29), the attacks — not surprisingly — prompted many people to express concerns around safety in the community.

The incidents occurred just two days apart. The first victim, a 28-year-old, was stabbed in the neck April 21, while sitting with his wife on a bench near the iconic white rock. The second, 26-year-old Kulwinder Singh Sohi, died April 23, following an altercation on East Beach.

READ MORE: Man dead after 2 people stabbed in 2 days in White Rock; suspect at large

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READ MORE: Man arrested in White Rock stabbing death

Peace Arch Hospice Society executive director Amanda McNally reached out to Peace Arch News in the days that followed, in an effort to let those who may be struggling know there are resources that can help.

“My heart is broken for our community,” she said Thursday (April 25).

McNally said such incidents can be triggering for those who have previously experienced a loss — even if they didn’t know the victims — and she wants people to know “we’re here.”

“We just want to help.”

The hospice society’s services are specific to people who have lost a loved one or are living with terminal illness.

But McNally said she knows firsthand the fear and anxiety that violence such as what unfolded last week on the waterfront can evoke.

“I grew up in Ontario, and I was a very young teenager when Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy went missing,” she explained, referring to two of notorious killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka’s young murder victims.

Mahaffy was abducted and killed in 1991; French, in 1992. Bernardo wasn’t arrested until the following year.

“I remember having a curfew and just that feeling of being terrified,” McNally said.

“This feels a bit similar.”

Not knowing who was behind the White Rock attacks left people “shaken,” McNally continued, noting she heard of people worried about sending their children to school, what the safeguards were in place and if they should go to sports or events.

In the midst of such uncertainty, finding the balance between holding on to normalcy while maintaining vigilance and not taking unnecessary risks “kind of feels like a little bit of an impossible situation.”

Trevor Josephson, manager of clinical services at PAHS, said increased anxiety is a normal reaction to such incidents.

Noting adrenaline is naturally released when the body is preparing to confront a threat — regardless of whether that threat is real or imagined, imminent or a remote possibility — Josephson said social connections are key, to “remind ourselves that we are not alone, that we are here for one another and that we have each other’s backs.”

More gatherings, phone calls, hugs and high-fives all help decrease feelings of vulnerability, as can focusing on positive experiences, he added.

Other strategies include letting go of a need to understand why such incidents happened, and doing a “rational reality check” as to the odds of actually being targeted by violence.

For those who feel additional support could be helpful at this time, available resources include:

• Sources Community Resource Centre, 604-531-6226; and,

• the Homicide Loss-Grief Support Group at Valley View Funeral Home. For information, call 604-312-0484 or email

To access PAHS counselling services or grief support, call 604-531-7484.

Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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