Article by: CHRIS DOUCETTE, SUN MEDIA
BRAMPTON — – One day too late
Couple killed before suspect was to face law
Rahimullah Shahghasy and his wife Nazifa were stabbed to death in a heinous and “unprovoked” knife attack at a strip mall just one day before their suspected killer was due in court to face weapon and drug charges.
But instead of standing before a judge, the 28-year-old suspect in the horrific double homicide lay in a Toronto hospital bed in critical condition suffering from self-inflicted stab wounds.
And yesterday, the murdered couple’s family couldn’t help but feel angry as they struggled to understand why their loved ones were murdered.
“He should have been in jail,” an outraged Karimullah Shahghasy, 45, said outside his brother and sister-in-law’s home yesterday of the man Peel police have been guarding at Sunnybrook hospital since the brutal murders Wednesday.
Karimullah was among numerous relatives gathered at the house to comfort and support his niece Hossy, 19, and nephew Qaiss, 21, who are now forced to fend for themselves after being orphaned by their parents’ senseless slayings.
“It’s a bad situation,” he said, adding the violent incident should have the entire nation concerned.
“Today it’s happened to me. But tomorrow, God forbid, it could be anybody (else), Karimullah said. “You could go out with your kids to go shopping and suddenly you don’t come home.”
The couple, who immigrated to Canada from war-torn Afghanistan more than 20 years ago hoping for a more peaceful life, was running errands at the Red Maple Plaza over the noon hour when tragedy struck.
Rahimullah, 53, was sitting in a pizza shop waiting for Nazifa, 52, to return from making an appointment at the neighbouring dental office when he looked at the window to see a man suddenly attack his wife with two large kitchen knives in the parking lot. He ran to his wife’s rescue, armed with a chair from the restaurant only to end up fatally stabbed as well.
Investigators maintain the couple did not know the knife-wielding man and the frenzied attack appears to have come from out of nowhere.
However, Karimullah said witnesses working in the plaza at the time told him they saw the man grabbing Nazifa’s purse.
Officers arrived on the scene soon after and were allegedly forced to zap the assailant with a stun gun because he was stabbing himself. The SIU is probing the police involvement.
Police have not yet been able to talk to the badly injured man, who they expect to charge with two counts of second-degree murder when and if he recovers.
Homicide Insp. Norm English has refused to name the suspect and would only say he is “well known to police.”
But sources have identified him as Dwayne Robert Palmer, of Brampton.
Court documents show Palmer was arrested on New Year’s Eve allegedly for carrying a knife and a small amount of marijuana. He was released from the police station that night on his own recognizance with a promise to appear in a Brampton courtroom May 1, Thursday, to answer to weapons dangerous and drug possession charges.
His mother was stunned to learn her son, who lives with her, was tied to such an incident. She was not aware of any mental health issues.