A 37-year-old dad was stabbed to death in front of his 3-year-old daughter and fiancée outside a Starbucks in Canada after he asked the attacker not to vape in front of his child, his family said.
Paul Stanley Schmidt and his daughter Erica were outside the Vancouver coffee shop about 5:30 p.m. Sunday while his fiancée Ashley Umali was getting drinks, his mother Kathy Schmidt told the Vancouver Sun.
Horrifying video posted on social media captured the moment a man suddenly stabbed Schmidt, who was seen clutching his stomach as he staggered and fell to the ground in a pool of blood.
Schmidt said she was told the suspect — identified as 32-year-old Inderdeep Singh Gosa — carried out the depraved attack after her son asked him not to vape in front of Erica.
“This is so horribly wrong what happened. He was just trying to protect his daughter. I’m angry and I’m sad,” she told the news outlet.
“It all started because he was vaping beside the baby. Ashley’s in shock — she watched the whole thing. She’s so devastated,” Schmidt added.
Gosa has been charged with second-degree murder, but Schmidt said she would like the charge to be upgraded to first-degree, which requires proof of premeditation.
“He had a knife. I don’t carry a knife into a coffee shop, do you?” she said.
The grieving mom told CityNews that she was also shocked about how no one rushed to help her dying son.
“I was incredibly surprised that nobody from inside the Starbucks called for help, nobody outside called for help. It wasn’t until basically he was in dire straits that somebody flagged down an officer on the sidewalk,” Schmidt told the outlet.
“What kind of world are we living in when you take your family to Starbucks in the middle of the afternoon and you’re attacked and killed, with many people standing around videotaping and watching?” she said.
Police have only said that an officer on patrol was flagged down about 5:40 p.m. at Granville and West Pender streets after the stabbing, which followed a “brief altercation.”
The suspect did not resist when the officer arrested him inside the Starbucks, police spokesman Sgt. Steve Addison told the Vancouver Sun.
He said police are appealing for more witnesses and video to help investigators determine a motive in the senseless killing.
“There’s a significant amount of evidence to tell us what happened. What we are focusing on now is why did this happen. What are the events that transpired in the moments leading up to this very serious crime,” Addison said.
The spokesman also urged people not to share the shocking footage of the attack.
“It’s graphic video. We are encouraging people not to share that video. We are encouraging people, if you’ve got video, if you are a bystander, if you are a witness, please come forward and speak to our investigators, provide it to our investigators,” he told the paper.
The slain man’s family also pleaded for people not to circulate the chilling video.
“Someone took my brother’s life yesterday and another person filmed it (do NOT watch) instead of calling the police and worse off posted it on social media very clearly for views,” Jessica Foxx wrote on Facebook.
“I am sick about this. My family is sick about this. I wrote this post many times being very angry & swearing but that won’t help anything,” she added.
Schmidt had worked at Jiffy Move, a moving company in Burnaby, for about five years.
“Paul was a great guy and a hard worker,” Sean Collings, the company’s operations manager, told the Vancouver Sun. “He was a devoted husband and father.”
He told the paper that the physically demanding job provided Schmidt with the only income to support his family.
On Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said police were doing everything possible to investigate the savage attack.
“I don’t think there are words that can describe just how terrible and just horrible what happened — it is awful,” he said.
“What I hope now is that the individual, who is obviously in custody, will face criminal charges. I understand second-degree murder is what has been charged, and if they’re found guilty, I hope they’re put away for a long time,” Farnsworth added.
The victim’s mother said Umali has been shattered by the loss.
“She’s not talking a lot and I’m on my way to see her now so I can actually have a conversation with her face-to-face. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have her tell me the whole story, and maybe she can’t, I don’t know,” she told CityNews.
“It was pretty horrific for her to stand and watch the whole thing unfold with her baby,” Schmidt added.
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim told Global News that the attack was “a senseless act and it’s absolutely terrible.
“Our hearts and our thoughts go out to Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Schmidt’s family – everyone who loves him,” he said.
Starbucks Canada rep Leanna Rizzi told the outlet in a statement that “this is a tragic situation and our hearts are with all those involved and affected by this incident. We are thankful our partners (employees) are safe and our focus is on supporting them.
“Partners have been offered support through our LifeWorks Employee Assistance Program to assist them through this difficult time. I do not have information to share at this time regarding when the store will reopen,” she added.